Coalition offering free tax services

To help local working individuals and families attain financial stability, the Greater Nashua Asset Building Coalition is offering free income tax preparation at four locations.

Volunteers trained by the IRS and AARP will assist filers with preparing their 2008 federal income tax returns and help determine whether they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Free tax returns prepared by coalition volunteers for tax year 2007 brought more than $1.7 million in refunds back to Nashua residents and yielded $423,000 in EITC claimed on 370 returns. Volunteers can file the returns electronically, which speeds refunds to taxpayers.

The coalition estimates that more than $2 million of the Earned Income Tax Credit is not claimed in the Nashua area simply because people are unaware that they qualify.

“The EITC can be a substantial benefit for low- to moderate-income households that are struggling with everyday expenses,” said GNABC coordinator Ray Peterson, vice president of United Way of Greater Nashua. “In many cases, we see credits of $1,600 or more. The free tax preparation service is an easy way for local working families to find out if they can put some of their hard-earned money back in their pocket or even help build their savings.”

EITC allowances vary with income levels, filing status and number of children. For example, a single parent with one child, earning less than $33,995, or a married couple with one child, filing jointly and earning less than $36,995, may receive up to the EITC maximum credit of $2,917.

No appointment is needed for the free tax preparation, which runs every Saturday through March 14 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Triangle Credit Union, 33 Franklin St. The service also will be available Mondays and Wednesdays until April 15 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St. Milford area residents can have their tax returns prepared Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings from 3:30-6:30 p.m. until April 9 at the Wadleigh Public Library, 49 Nashua St. A new tax preparation site is being opened at the YMCA in Merrimack, 6 Henry Clay Drive, for Fridays until April 10 from 9:30 a.m.-noon.

Tax filers should bring all their relevant tax information, including social security numbers for themselves and their dependents, W-2 and 1099 income reporting forms, copy of their 2007 tax return, driver’s license or photo identification card and tax identification number of their child care provider. Refunds can be electronically deposited in checking and savings accounts, so account numbers and bank routing numbers are needed to complete that process.

To locate tax preparation sites in New Hampshire, call 2-1-1, the statewide information and referral service. Additional information is available in English and Spanish at www.unitedwaynashua.org.

GNABC members include AARP Tax-Aide Program, Triangle Credit Union, United Way of Greater Nashua, the Internal Revenue Service, City of Nashua, Nashua Pastoral Care Center, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, YMCA of Greater Nashua, LinkAbilities, Adult Learning Center, New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, Harbor Homes, and Southern New Hampshire Services.