Friday, April 18, 2014 · 9:43 a.m.

IRS, partners offer free tax help in Chattanooga area

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Twelve local tax sites are now open and staffed with site workers preparing and e-filing tax returns for free, the Internal Revenue Service reminded Chattanoogans on Tuesday.

These sites are operated by local organizations but staffed by IRS-trained and certified volunteers. They offer free tax help to filers whose household incomes were below $51,000 in 2012 or who file a simple tax return.

Some sites also specialize in helping filers who are 60 or older.

Help sites include St. Andrews Center at 1918 Union Ave. in Chattanooga, where, starting Feb. 13, free tax help is available for Spanish-speaking filers. The site is open for walk-in help Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sites where free tax help is offered in English include Eastgate Mall, Northgate Mall and the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. There are at least 12 free tax help sites in Hamilton County alone and more sites in some surrounding counties.

To find a site for free tax prep, call the IRS at 1-800-906-9887 or click here and search for "volunteer tax help."

To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms. To have your tax return prepared at one of these sites, bring the following information with you:

—Picture ID

—Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents

—Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return

—Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers

—Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

—A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available

—Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit, such as a blank check

—Total paid for day care provider and the day care provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security number or the provider's business employer identification number), if appropriate

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