April 15 may be a few months away but it’s not too early to think about filing your income taxes.  Filling early is smart, especially if the U.S. Internal Revenue Service owes you some money.

As they have done in past years, accounting students from Montana State University Billings have partnered with the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) to provide tax-filing assistance to the community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

VITA is a nationwide service that provides tax preparation services to low-income filers.

Now through tax day, April 15, VITA volunteers along with 13 students from the MSUB College of Business,will be at HRDC, at Seventh N. 31st St.., several times a week and available to complete tax returns for both walk-ins and scheduled appointments.

Volunteers will be available Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It is recommended that taxpayers make an appointment or wait a few weeks before dropping by HRDC headquarters, as the first few weeks are extremely busy.

Regardless of whether you wait a few weeks to file your tax return or want it done right away, it’s important to know whether you qualify for the service and remember to bring all the appropriate paperwork.

If you made less than $60,000 in 2015, the IRS allows taxpayers to file their taxes for free.

Here are the documents you need to bring to your appointment:
• Valid picture identification
• Completed intake/interview sheet
• Social security cards for you, your spouse, and all dependents
• All tax forms received, including W-2s, 1099s, and 1098s
• December credit union and/or bank statements
• Information about any other income you may have received during the year
• Last year's tax return
• Routing and account numbers for direct deposit
• For Montana taxpayers over the age of 62, property tax receipts or rent receipt

If you are planning on itemizing plan on bring the documentation for the following deductible items:
• Unreimbursed medical and dental expenses
• Charitable contributions
• Amounts paid for property taxes
• Tax return preparation fees
• Mortgage interest paid
• Real estate tax paid
• Student loan interest paid
• Amounts paid for you, your spouse, or dependents for higher education during the year
• Any amounts paid for child and dependent care expenses along with the provider's name, address, and tax identification number.

Please take note that returns that contain the following items or schedules cannot be prepared by VITA Volunteers:
• Any return with incomplete information.
• Any return with a prior year carryover.
• Schedule C: Expenses greater than $5,000; Depreciation; Shows a loss.
• Schedule D: Undocumented basis; Losses that are required to be carried over to the following year. Schedule E, Schedule F, Schedule H: Out of Scope

For more information please visit montanafreefile.org.

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