Volunteer tax help available across Kaua’i

Volunteers are offering free preparation of state and federal income-tax forms, and even free electronic filing (e-filing) of federal forms, at locations across Kaua’i.

The service is made available through a partnership including the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, state Department of Taxation, American Association of Retired Persons’ TaxAide program, and coalitions of community organizations, educational institutions and military services.

The AARP Information Center on Rice Street next to Midas in Lihu’e is doing returns by appointment only each Monday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, with e-filing of federal forms offered on Saturdays only. Please call Audrey Rowe, 246-4500, for appointments.

The Kapa’a Neighborhood Center on Kuhio Highway has volunteers available for walk-in traffic each Thursday now through Thursday, March 20, except for Thursday, Feb. 27, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

The Kaua’i Community College business education building, room 112, is the site of free tax-preparation help weekdays by appointment only, through Thursday, March 20. E-filing is available. Please call Carol for appointments, 245-8321.

Volunteers are at Kilauea Neighborhood Center only on Wednesday, Feb. 19, and Wednesday, March 12, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, offering assistance to walk-ins.

Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. now through Wednesday, April 9, except for Wednesday, March 26 (Kuhio Day holiday), volunteers are at the Koloa Community/School Library, offering walk-in assistance. The library is at Koloa School, along Po’ipu Road.

Volunteers will be at the Lihu’e Neighborhood Center from 8:30 a.m. to noon on each of the following Tuesdays: March 11, 18 and 25, and April 8, for walk-in assistance. Please call Rowe for more details.

Volunteers will be positioned at Waimea Neighborhood Center, adjacent to Waimea High School, only this Thursday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, for walk-in assistance.

The Kalaheo Neighborhood Center is the site of more free help, this Wednesday, Feb. 19 only, from 9 a.m. to noon, for walk-ins.

Volunteers will be at the Kaumakani Neighborhood Center on Tuesday, Feb. 25 only, from 9 a.m. to noon, offering help to walk-ins.

The Kekaha Neighborhood Center is the site for free tax-preparation assistance on Thursday, Feb. 27 only, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Koloa Neighborhood Center, near Old Koloa Town, has volunteers on hand only from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 26, offering assistance to walk-ins.

The Hanapepe Recreation Center has volunteers only this Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon, for walk-ins.

“These volunteer programs reach out to seniors and to people with low-to-moderate incomes who could use some help preparing their tax returns,” said Shawn George, IRS spokesperson.

“Our volunteers are the heart of these programs, and many have been volunteering for years,” she said.

Volunteers prepare basic Form 1040 tax returns, including Schedule A for itemized deductions, claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax credits, and comparable state tax forms and credits.

They do not prepare business or complex returns, but have received training from the IRS, state Department of Taxation, and AARP-TaxAide.

Taxpayers coming to the sites should bring all their tax information with them, including wage and earnings statements (Forms W-2); interest and dividend statements (Forms 1099); a copy of last year’s (2001 tax year) return, if available; Social Security numbers for every person shown on the return; and any other information concerning income and expenses for 2002.

For joint, e-filed returns, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms. E-filing provides the highest degree of speed, accuracy and security in filing tax returns.

Last year, more than 168,000 Hawai’i residents e-filed their federal tax returns.

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