ASU strengthens community, provides free tax filing services for hard-working SLV families

(01-17-2017)

Partnership with Tax Help Colorado helps more SLV families with incomes under $54,000 access free tax preparation services and bigger refunds

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For the eighth year, the Adams State University School of Business is partnering with the Denver-based Piton Foundation to help hard-working families become more financially secure by providing free tax preparation assistance through the Tax Help Colorado program. Beginning January 28, IRS-certified Adams State students will prepare and e-file tax returns free of charge for individuals with household incomes of less than about $54,000 a year.

Tax preparers are trained to ensure the individuals they serve get the best refund possible, as many of them are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit. The program also helps Adams State students develop financial acumen, increased empathy for their community and greater interest in civic engagement.

"Adams State's partnership with the Piton Foundation benefits community members and provides valuable experience for our IRS-certified accounting students," said President Beverlee J. McClure. "We are proud to provide this service and help people receive the best refund possible."

This free service is quick and confidential.

From January 28 through March 13, Adams State's free tax site is open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Saturday; and from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. every Monday, in the Business School lobby, Third St. and Richardson Ave. This site will also be open from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Mondays from March 27 through April 10.

Tax Help Colorado operates 22 free tax sites statewide. More than 30 percent of Colorado families are eligible to participate in the program. During the 2016 tax season, Tax Help Colorado provided free tax assistance to over 9,300 individuals, helping them claim nearly $18 million in tax refunds, including nearly $6.8 million from the EITC. In addition, the program saved families more than $2.5 million in commercial tax preparation fees.

What to bring to the Adams State free tax site:

  • Social Security Cards (or ITINs) for all family members. Photo I.D. for taxpayer required.
  • All W-2, 1099s and other income-related documents. A copy of last year's tax return, if available.
  • Proof of mortgage interest, property taxes, charitable donations and tax-deductible expenses.
  • For the Child & Dependent Care Credit, total paid to daycare provider and the provider's tax ID.
  • For college expenses: In addition to Form 1098T from your college, bring records of expenses paid for tuition, books, fees and supplies.
  •  If eligible for Colo. Rent-Heat Rebate: 2016 rent receipts and heating bills. • Bank account number and routing number to direct deposit your refund. Get your refund faster with direct deposit.
  • Your health coverage form. If you or your family had coverage through:
    • Connect for Health Colorado: You will need a Form 1095-A, which you should receive by mid-February. If not, log in to Connect for Health Colorado or call Connect for Health Colorado, 1-855-PLANS-4YOU.
    • Health First Colorado: You may need a Form 1095-B, which you should receive by January 31st. If not, log in to Colorado PEAK contact Health First Colorado at 1-800-221-3943.
    • Your Employer: You will need a Form 1095-C or Form 1095-B. Contact your employer benefits department if you haven't received it.

Didn't have health coverage in 2016? You may have to pay a fine. Before paying the fine, check to see if you qualify for an exemption by visiting HealthCare.gov.

A list of all the Tax Help Colorado sites, as well as the locations of other free tax assistance sites in Colorado, is available by dialing 2-1-1 (it's a free call), visiting Piton Tax Help, or finding Tax Help Colorado on Facebook (www.facebook.com/taxhelpcolorado) and Twitter (@TaxHelpCo).

The Piton Foundation at Gary Community Investments

The Piton Foundation, which is part of Gary Community Investments, is a private foundation established in 1976 by Denver oilman Sam Gary. It is committed to improving the lives of Colorado's low-income children and their families by increasing access to quality early childhood and youth development opportunities and fostering healthy family and community environments. In addition to investing in creative solutions for Colorado's low-income children and their families, Piton operates its own programs, including the Data Initiative, Tax Help Colorado, and the nation's largest and longest-running Earned Income Tax Credit public information campaign.