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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2005 Media Releases


Date:
February 3, 2005
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Rick G. Carter, Human Services Federation, 441-4399


Tax Preparation Assistance Available

Lincoln Mayor Coleen J. Seng today encouraged low-income persons to use the free services available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) for preparing their federal and state tax returns. The program is offered by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Family Economic Security Partnership (FESP), a collaboration of public, private and non-profit organizations, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Human Services Federation and various local organizations.

“There are many people who are working, but still finding it difficult to make ends meet,” said Mayor Seng. “The goal of the Partnership is to help these individuals and families increase their income and build their assets. One way to achieve that goal is to make sure they are claiming all of the possible credits due to them when they file their taxes. I want to thank the Partnership and the VITA volunteers for offering their important service in our community.”

The VITA program has provided free tax assistance to the Lincoln community for more than 30 years. This year, volunteers speaking native Vietnamese, Arabic, Hispanic, Indian, Russian and Bosnian will be available at some locations to provide tax preparation and translation. A schedule is available at www.hsfed.org or by calling 441-4399.

“Special emphasis will be placed on increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) claimed,” said Rick G. Carter, Executive Director of the Human Services Federation and Chair of FESP. “The EITC and other federal and state tax credits were created to increase the incomes of these workers. We want to start these families on a path toward building financial assets for the future.”

Free electronic filing, available at most VITA locations, provides the most speed, accuracy and security in filing tax returns. Those using electronic filing and direct deposit can receive refunds within 10 to 14 days.

Volunteers are trained to prepare basic Form 1040 tax returns, including schedule A for itemized deductions, claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit, other tax credits and the comparable state tax forms. Volunteers do not prepare business or complex tax returns.

To use the service, individuals must provide a photo identification; a Social Security Card (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) for themselves, spouses and dependents listed on the return; all Wage and Earning Statements (W-2); any interest and dividend statements (Form 1099); a copy of last year’s return, if available; and any other information on income and expenses for 2004.

Other FESP partners are U.S. Bank, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, the Lincoln City Libraries, the Lincoln Action Program, the Salvation Army, Fresh Start, Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, the Hispanic Community Center, the Asian Community and Cultural Center, the Lincoln Literacy Council, the Community Mental Health Center, Goodwill Industries, the Friendship Home, the YWCA, Volunteer Partners and the Lincoln Public Schools.

More information is available by calling the Human Services Federation at 441-4399, the Lincoln City Libraries at 441-8530, or by visiting www.hsfed.org.


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