Opinion

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. When the time for the VITA appointment arrives, seniors will need to bring their record of 2008 Stimulus Payment, tax returns from the previous year (2007), wage and or/pension reports (W2 and/or WP2), all 1099 forms for interest and dividends, their 2008 year-end social security forms and their 2008 property tax receipts. 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 485-8100.


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