Taxpayers should have their materials in some kind of order, Ditman suggested. Documents they should bring include:
- A photo ID and a copy of last year's tax return.
- All W-2 and 1099 forms reporting income, interest, dividends, pensions, annuities and Social Security benefits.
- Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and your dependents.
- Unemployment compensation statements.
Canceled checks and receipts if you plan to itemize deductions. For further information about what documents are necessary, go to the Tax-Aide website. If you want to have a refund deposited directly into your account, bring your checkbook with routing and account numbers.
"We provide a real service to those who don't really have any other options," said Ditman. Returns are filed electronically, and clients receive a printed copy for their records.
To find the site nearest you, go to the Tax-Aide locator or call 1-888-227-7669 toll-free.
Starting in September, people interested in volunteering for next year should fill out the application form on the Tax-Aide website.
Also of interest: Frequently asked federal tax questions. >>
Cathie Gandel is a freelance writer living in Bridgehampton, N.Y.