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Around the Town: March 26, 2010

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Preparing tax returns can be frustrating and confusing, but we can help. Hempstead Town’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program offers free tax assistance to senior citizens.

The Town of Hempstead Department of Senior Enrichment, in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service, operates the VITA Program. Through this program, volunteers are trained to assist seniors in completing their basic income tax returns.

Residents can make appointments for tax return assistance through their local Hempstead Town senior center or club (tax filing deadline is April 15). Please note that assistance will also be available at some local libraries on a first- come, first-served basis. Seniors who wish to participate in the program must bring last year’s tax return (2008), all wage and earnings statements (W-2 and 1099), all interest, dividend and pension statements, 2009 property tax receipts, STAR exemption records, NYS booklet, 1040 Booklet, IT 214 booklet (if applicable), Social Security cards and photo identifications of all those filing tax returns. Other pertinent information that seniors may want to bring includes medical and dental bills, travel mileage from home to the doctor’s office and the cost of medical prescriptions. This information could be useful in itemizing deductions.

VITA is an extremely beneficial program intended to meet the special needs of the town’s senior population. For over 30 years, the invaluable aid provided by our volunteers has greatly benefited the seniors who have taken advantage of this free service. I encourage all Town of Hempstead seniors to take advantage of this opportunity.

It is our honor to serve senior citizens. To find out more information about how to utilize the VITA program, please contact the Town of Hempstead Department of Senior Enrichment at (516) 485-8100.