White Earth Tax Site is ready for tax law changes

New federal laws will impact this year’s income tax filings. White Earth Tax Site staff know filers may be concerned about changes in deductions, a reformatted Form 1040, and additional tax credits.

Amanda Hanson

“We will be fully prepared to walk you through that,” Tax Site Director Amanda Hanson said. “Be prepared to itemize for Minnesota taxes, particularly if you itemized in the past; Minnesota did not follow all of the federal changes, so itemizing could be to your benefit.”

Also new at the site this year is Assisted Self-Preparation. Assisted Self-Preparation is a walk-in service offered during standard hours of operation only and is available to those people who a) do not have the IRS-required documentation and b) are willing to enter information into the computer. “This uses the same software we use for tax preparation, and we can help get you through it quickly,” Hanson said.

Volunteer preparation still requires identification. “Even if you had your taxes prepared with us last year, we need to see a Social Security card for the filers and any dependents,” she said.

The White Earth Tax Site is a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. VITA offers quality, community-based tax services at no charge to help qualifying filers obtain the maximum tax credits allowable along with access to their full refunds. The following services will be provided in the Event Center of the Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, Minn., beginning Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.

  • Free on-site tax preparation and electronic filing. Beginning Jan. 14, 2019, call MMCDC at 1-800-752-6579 during normal business hours or go to weii.website/free-tax-services/ to schedule an appointment with a trained community volunteer. Filers also have the option of dropping off their tax materials at the site, and their return will be prepared and e-filed within a week.
  • Free self-preparation at myfreetaxes.com. This website allows income-qualified filers who have access to a computer and Internet connection to prepare and electronically file their own returns using free tax software.
  • Free walk-in self-preparation using a tax site computer. No appointment necessary; computer availability on a first-come, first-served basis. The tax site will be open 12-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday through March 7 in the Event Center at Shooting Star Casino; it will close Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.

To be eligible for the above taxpayer services, filers must have $60,000 annual earned income or less. There are types of income and expense on returns that the IRS does not allow volunteer preparers to complete.

Types of returns the White Earth Tax Site cannot complete include the following: businesses with employees, inventory, depreciation, businesses with more than $25,000 in expenses, rental income, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental payments, employee business expenses, moving expenses, complex capital gains, hobby income and mortgage foreclosures.

Taxpayers must bring a government-issued photo ID for filers and Social Security cards for all listed on the return. Copies are now acceptable! For more information regarding tax appointments, go to www.weii.website/free-tax-services/.

For a quicker refund have it direct deposited by bringing the bank routing number and your account number for the tax preparer (voided check, a statement from the bank, or passbook).

This program is a service of White Earth Investment Initiative, with support from West Central Initiative; Shooting Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center; and Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation. My Free Taxes is a service of United Way Worldwide and H&R Block.

With questions or to volunteer, contact Amanda Hanson, tax site director, at 218-844-7020.