Free tax preparation services offered at FDLTCCStudents in the business program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet will provide free tax preparation assistance on campus through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance network.
Students in the business program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet will provide free tax preparation assistance on campus through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance network. Free help is available to assist filers in determining their eligibility for various tax credits and to file their tax forms this year. The service is available to all community members whose income levels are less than $45,000. The service is not limited to students attending the college.
Business program students conducted a limited tax assistance program last year on a trial basis to determine the need for offering income tax assistance annually. Last year’s initial success turned this year’s plans into a full-fledged effort.
The free service is available Tuesdays from 5-8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 114 on campus. Service began Feb. 6, and runs through Tuesday, April 13. No service will be available on March 13, 16 and 20.
No appointments or registration are necessary. Students assisting in the process are IRS certified tax preparers, and free e-filing will be available.
“We see this as a learning opportunity for our students as well as being a great resource for community members in need of assistance with their annual income tax preparation,” said Sara Montgomery, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Business program staff. “Our students will be available to help individuals, and have some fun in what many consider to be a stressful process.”
The business programs are popular majors at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. The American Indian Business Leaders student organization on campus has earned national Chapter of the Year honors three times and has numerous individual and small-group winners in national business competitions.
When preparing to use the free tax preparation site, people need to bring the following::
• Valid driver’s license or photo identification (self and spouse, if applicable)
• Social Security cards for all persons listed on the return
• Dates of birth for all persons listed on the return
• All income statements: Forms W-2, 1099, Social Security, Unemployment, or other benefits statements, self-employment records and any documents showing taxes withheld
• Dependent child care information: payee’s name, address and Social Security number or tax identification number
• Proof of account at financial institution for direct debit or deposit (i.e. canceled/voided check or a current bank statement)
• Prior year tax return (if available)
• Any other pertinent documents or papers. To file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
The free income tax assistance service at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College can help individuals identify possible tax credits that are new or unknown to tax filers, such as the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.
“Many people don’t know that they qualify for these extra dollars through the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits,” said Montgomery. “They can learn all about the credits, and receive professional filing assistance at no cost through our volunteer tax assistance site. Some taxpayers may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit for the first time this year due to unemployment or other changes in their financial, marital or parental status over the past year.”
In addition to the volunteer income tax assistance site at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, several other free assistance sites nearby include the Duluth Public Library, the Fond du Lac Reservation Tribal Center, and the University of Minnesota Duluth. Filers can also call the Minnesota Department of Revenue at 800-657-3989 to locate free tax assistance sites. A web-based resource for this information is the Minnesota Department of Revenue Web site at www.taxes.state.mn.us.
For more information about the free volunteer income tax assistance program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, contact Suzan Desmond at 218-879-0701.