Last updated: February 20. 2013 2:55AM - 607 Views

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Low and moderate income individuals, families and senior citizens in the Abingtons can receive free assistance in completing and filing their federal, state and local tax returns through the University of Scranton's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and a group of local human service organizations led by the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

Appointments are available at the Clarks Summit Volunteer Fire Company, 321 Bedford St., Clarks Summit Feb. 22 from 1 to 5 p.m.; Feb.27 from to 7 p.m.; March 7 from 3 to 7 p.m. and March 18 from 2 to 6 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, call the United Way at 570.504.0614 or email jherrmann@uwlc.net. There is no charge for this service.

Beginning in February, walk-in, no appointment required tax service is also available at the University of Scranton's Brennan Hall Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. No tax preparation service is offered at the University of Scranton from March 21 to April 1. The regular schedule resumes April 2. A Super Sunday is scheduled to kick-off the tax season at Brennan Hall Feb. 3 with appointments available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a complete schedule, visit www.uwlc.net.

In the last five years, VITA program volunteers have prepared more than 6,400 tax returns with more than $5.5 million being returned to the community in refunds.

Through the VITA program, individuals and families with a household income less than $49,000 last year can save an average of $200 by having their taxes prepared at no cost and with none of the fees and interest charges associated with such products as refund anticipation loans and some costly tax preparation services. In addition, the University students and IRS certified volunteers serving as tax preparers help hundreds of people each year receive every tax benefit available to them such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit.

Tax clients need to bring: valid photo identification; all W2 forms; 1099 documents (interest, dividends, pensions); Social Security Numbers or Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) for yourself and all dependents including children; completed W-7 documents as appropriate; last year's return (optional, but helpful); any records relating to income and expenses; personal bank account information (for direct deposit in bank account with electronic filing); and real estate tax receipts (if applicable).

For a complete schedule and list of required documents, contact the United Way at 570.504.0614 or visit uwlc.net.

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