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On Your Side: Free tax clinics, renter rebate credit and unemployment info

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 6:28 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 6:34 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - If you received unemployment in 2020, that impacts your tax bill.

“They view it as wage replacement. So if a person has been receiving unemployment, they will have some tax due on that,” said Tiffany Cossey, with Drury University Accountancy.

If you’ve qualified for the Earned Income Credit before, there’s COVID-19 relief. For 2020 taxes, you can use the prior year to calculate eligibility.

Seniors can help help with their taxes through SeniorAge.

Don’t forget about Missouri Property Tax Credit. It helps certain seniors and those who are disabled.

“It’s true whether they rent or own their property. If you fall into one of those categories and low income, then you may be eligible for part of a refund from the state of Missouri that you paid directly as a homeowner or deemed to have paid through you rent payments to your landlord,” said Cossey.

Free tax clinics for low income families will happen this year. Volunteers will follow CDC guidelines. Those start next weekend and continue during tax season. We’ll have a story about those clinics next week.

News release from Drury University:

Drury University students again will provide free tax preparation through an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, beginning Feb. 6. The annual tax preparation service is open to the public and is designed to benefit low-income taxpayers.

Service will be offered again in the Breech School of Business Administration, located on the northeast corner of Drury Lane and Central Street. However, there will be changes to the process this year due to COVID-19 precautions, including:

  • Drury will offer drop-off service. Taxpayers will be able to drop off taxes on a walk-in basis, then schedule an appointment to pick up finished tax returns.
  • In order to limit contact, only the taxpayer and spouse should be present to drop-off forms. Children and other parties are asked not to accompany the taxpayer, unless such accompaniment is necessary to assist them.
  • Taxpayers are asked to please wear masks when entering the building and to bring a cellphone for ease of contact.
  • Enter the Breech building through the doors at the north end of the building. Once inside, taxpayers will place their name and cellphone numbers on a list and be asked to return to their cars to wait until called.
  • In order to avoid close-contact and the spread of COVID-19, taxpayers will not be allowed to congregate in the building prior to the opening of the drop-off clinic or while waiting to be served.

Drop-off will be available at the following times:

Saturday, Feb. 6 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 8 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 10 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 13 8 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 15 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 17 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Please note the clinic operates only inside of posted hours.

All returns will be filed electronically unless the IRS requires a manual return. All taxpayers must be available to sign the appropriate forms in the case of joint returns. Tax returns will not be transmitted until after the taxpayer collects the completed return and signs required permission forms.

As in prior years, taxpayers are required to bring the following:

  • Photo ID and Social Security cards for themselves and dependents
  • Any tax documentation which they have received, including all W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and statements issued by brokerage firms.
  • A copy of their 2019 state and federal tax returns to help speed up the filing process.

Due to limitations set by the federal government, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs are unable to help taxpayers who have declared bankruptcy or incurred insolvency during the tax year, have rental property, have a self-owned business with inventory, depreciable property, or which had an overall loss for the year, and certain situations in which a taxpayer has received a forgiveness of debt.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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