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  • County teams with United Way to offer free tax assistance

    Employees with an annual family income under $66,000 can take advantage of free tax-preparation assistance through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a Pima County partnership with the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

    A team of County staffers once again will coordinate VITA’s “valet” service, designed to allow busy people to bring in their tax documents and scanned – all in about 30 minutes – and then uploaded to a tax preparer via a secure server. Returns arrive through a secure email in about two weeks (sometimes faster) or can be picked up at the United Way offices, 330 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 200.

    Drop in or get through the process even faster with an appointment. The key is bringing all the right documents, which include: 
    • Picture I.D. for taxpayer and spouse. Both spouses must be present to sign documents!
    • Social Security card for EACH family member

    • Proof of income, including W2s and 1099s

    • Account and routing numbers for direct deposit of refunds 
    • Documentation for deductible expenses such as home mortgage interest or real estate taxes. 
    • Forms 5498-SA and 1099-SA for Health Savings Accounts and 1095A for Affordable Care Act. 
    Tax prep assistanceEight County sites will host VITA sessions on a rotating schedule (see below) starting Feb. 4 at the Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress St. 

    Bonnie Bazata, director of the Ending Poverty Now Program for the Community Services, Employment and Training Department, who coordinates the VITA program, praised the convenience of effort that allows some employees to get tax assistance right in their own building.  VITA is available for County residents as well who can access through these eight County locations. 

    “Taxes can be a headache and time-consuming and the Valet VITA program simplifies the process while providing the highest quality service – for free,” Bazata said. “It’s a collaboration across several departments, and we are pleased to bring this program to more County employees and County residents for a fourth year.” 
    VITA dates and locations: 
    • Feb. 4-6 - Pima County Housing Center • 801 W. Congress • Contact: Rachel Ramirez, 520-724-2480
    • Feb. 11-13 - Kino Veterans’ Workforce Center • 2801 E. Ajo Way • Contact: Olivia Durazo, 520-724-2646
    • Feb. 18-20 - Joel D. Valdez Main Library • 101 N. Stone Ave. • Contact: Ken Zambos, 520-594-5573
    • Feb. 25-27 - Kino Service Center • 2797 E. Ajo Way • Contact: Sara Lopez Mojarro, 520-724-4727
    • March 3-5 - Rio Nuevo Service Center • 340 N. Commerce Park Loop, Tortolita Building • Contact: Diana Garcia, 724-7608
    • Mar. 10-12 - Abrams Public Health Center • 3950 S. Country Club Rd., Room TBA • Contact: Monica Robinson, 520-724-2854
    • Mar. 17-19 - Nanini Library, 7300 N. Shannon Rd. • Contact: Sharon Yang-McNeil, 520-594-5365
    • Mar. 24-26 - Pima County Youth Employment Center • 340 N. Commerce Park Lp., Tortolita Bldg. Pantano Room • Contact: Sara Lopez Mojarro, 724-4727
    Every week, the hours will be the same: Tuesdays and Thursdays - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays - Noon to 5 p.m. Note: Program hours at Nanini Branch Library will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Check eligibility at https://www.unitedwaytucson.org/vita.

    For general program question or to request promotional flyers, contact Bonnie Bazata, by email or phone, 520-724-3704.

    Questions on the VITA site schedule may be directed to 520-724-4727.

    Tax questions should be directed to the United Way, 520-903-9000.

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