Free income tax help starts Jan. 20

Free income tax preparation including electronic filing of federal and Colorado returns, will be available at the Salida Library beginning Jan. 20.

Help will be available from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays, and from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. Exceptions to those days are Feb. 14 and March 14 when the site will not operate.

The free service is operated by trained volunteers under the sponsorship of the library and the Internal Revenue Service and is designed for taxpayers of low to moderate income. Taxpayers should take with them proof of identification, Social Security cards for taxpayer, spouse and dependents, birth dates for those people any tax documents such as W-2s, interest statements, mortgage interest statements, amount paid for day care and the day care provider's tax identification if day care is used.

It is useful but not necessary to take last year's return.

There is a new refund available only this year that is of importance to almost everyone - even people who aren't normally required to file a tax return.

This is a refund of the federal excise tax paid on long distance telephone service between Feb. 28, 2003, and Aug. 1.

If you paid for long distance calls during that period, and you are not a dependent of another person, you are probably eligible for the refund, even if you made the calls using a cell phone or prepaid calling cards.

The refund varies from $30 to $60, depending upon number of dependents. The tax site will prepare and efile for free the required forms to for this refund.

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