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Jan. 22, 2016

Chandler offers free tax preparation beginning the first week of February

Believe it or not, tax season has arrived, and the City’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is ready to help. Chandler’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) campaign helps working families who earned less than $54,000 in 2015 with free tax preparation and filing services.  On Monday, Jan. 29, the City will celebrate EITC Awareness Day, which is a national campaign to ensure low- to moderate-income individuals get all the tax credits they are eligible to receive.

Six tax preparation sites in Chandler are set to open the week of Feb. 1 through Friday, April 15. Free tax assistance will be available on a walk-in basis at the following locations:
  • First Credit Union, 25 S. Arizona Place
    3-8 p.m., Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesdays
     
  • Sun Lakes Country Club, 25601 N. Sun Lakes Blvd.
    9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Mondays 
    This site will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15, in honor of Presidents Day.
     
  • Chandler Hamilton Library, 3700 S. Arizona Ave.
    4-7:30 p.m., Mondays;  9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesdays
    This site will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15, in honor of Presidents Day.
    On Tuesday, Feb. 9 and 16, this site will be open from 4 to 7:30 p.m., instead of 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

     
  • Chandler Christian Community Center, 345 S. California St.
    Noon to 6 p.m., Tuesdays
     
  • The Chandler CARE Center, 777 E. Galveston St. 
    Noon-4:30 p.m., Wednesdays; noon- 4 p.m., Fridays; 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturdays
    This site will be closed on Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26.
     
  • Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, 2145 W. Elliot Road
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays 
    This site will be closed on Saturday, March 26.
All sites will prepare basic tax forms on a first come, first served basis. Interpreters also are available at some sites to assist Spanish-speaking residents. All volunteers are certified with the Internal Revenue Service and completed a VITA training program. 

Chandler’s VITA Program began in 2004 after Arizona convened a statewide task force focusing on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that frequently goes unclaimed. During last year’s tax season, Chandler’s VITA volunteers invested more than 4,000 hours preparing and filing more than 1,800 personal tax returns that provided more than $1.95 million in refunds for residents. The volunteers focus on getting taxpayers the credits they are eligible to receive. These tax credits can greatly enhance prospects for family economic success and bring new resources into the local economy, benefiting local merchants and the community as a whole.

When visiting a VITA site for free tax preparation, all taxpayers must bring several items with them including W-2 forms, photo identification, Social Security cards (including those of all dependents), Form 1099 (if applicable), and a copy of last year’s tax return and information for all deductions and credits. A complete list of what to bring is available online at chandleraz.gov/VITA.