It’s Tax Season

State and federal personal income tax returns for 2011 are due on April 17, 2012. Employers are required to mail out employee W-2 forms needed for filing income tax returns by January 31, 2012. If you have not received your W-2, contact your employer and ask for another copy and make sure that they have your correct address and contact information.

Once you have your W-2 you are able to file your state and federal income tax returns. Other items you will need to file your tax returns include:

  • Valid Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
  • Birth dates for primary, secondary and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Other relevant information about income and expenses

Assistance options

The best way to find answers to your tax questions is by visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov. This website will help you obtain important forms, information and file your tax returns. There are also helpful videos and links to information to help you complete your returns. The IRS also has IRS2Go, a smartphone application that lets taxpayers check the status of their tax refunds and obtain helpful tax information.

Individuals making $50,000 or less can also utilize the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to get free assistance in filing your taxes. Assistance is generally available from February 1 through April 15th. The VITA program specializes in assisting disabled taxpayers, those with low to limited income, and non-English speaking taxpayers.

Individuals that are 60 years and older can take advantage of free tax counseling and tax preparation through the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program.

Information on these programs is available at www.irs.gov. You can also get information and assistance through the IRS toll-free number 1-800-829-1040 (Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)