Once again, 1st Bank of Morgan is teaming up with the Earn It, Keep It, Save It Coalition (EIKISI) for Davis and Morgan Counties to provide IRS-approved tax preparation for low-income families and individuals. EIKISI is a statewide coalition building partnerships to strengthen family financial stability. 1st Bank has been a member of this coalition since 1998. Several bank employees are involved in the coalition-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA is a national program offering free federal and state income tax preparation for individuals and families with annual incomes of $51,000 or less. The VITA program particularly seeks to assist persons with low incomes, the elderly, the limited-English speaking population and people with disabilities Ò those who require assistance in preparing their tax returns, but can’t afford the services of a paid preparer. The complexities and nature of tax law discourage and frustrate many taxpayers with low incomes, so a good number who are entitled to refunds don’t even file a return. The volunteer tax preparers with the VITA program undergo a training and certification program sponsored by the IRS. The volunteers are very proficient at getting all the allowed credits. One often overlooked credit on tax returns is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It is estimated that between 15-25 percent of EITC refunds are left unclaimed. VITA also offers some asset-building programs at the sites, such as US savings bonds, prepaid debit cards and Utah Saves applications. In addition, when VITA clients express a particular financial need or goal, they are referred to local non-profit agencies to assist them in meeting these objectives. There are 10 VITA sites in Davis County and one in Morgan County. Additional information and/or appointments may be obtained by calling 2-1-1. The Morgan County site will once again be at the Morgan County public library. Appointments to prepare your taxes can be made by calling 2-1-1 or by contacting Anne Porter or Ken Transtrum at 1st Bank in Morgan. The bank’s phone number is (801) 829-3402. The starting date is Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, and runs through Saturday, April 13, 2013. Times are weekdays from 3-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-3 p.m. Walk-in appointments are not available this year.
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