VITA program is available Monday through Friday to prepare tax returns.

Last year, volunteers prepared 334 tax returns as a free service to Pratt County residents valued at more than $4,000, using the Independent Sector's Value of Volunteer Time figure of $18.13 per hour.

With three volunteers this year, they will be able to expand their hours, resulting in faster service and the ability to help more people, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) coordinator Tiffany Ailstock said.

Corrine Trimpe joins Dean Hoover and Fred Badders, who each have several years' experience as volunteer tax preparers. They have all gone through training to update their knowledge and certification.

They are available to do simple tax returns for people who make $51,000 or less and need assistance in preparing returns. They can also inform taxpayers about special credits for which they may be eligible, including Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

They began seeing clients this week and will continue through April 15. Most returns can be completed in 45 minutes or less, according to Ailstock. Appointments may be made by calling 672-7811 and are recommended for the Wednesday afternoon and evening time slots, however walk-ins will be helped during all hours.

Tax assistance

Volunteer tax preparers will be available from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday and from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the Pratt Community Center, 619 N. Main. Appointments recommended for the Wednesday afternoon, but walk-in clients will be seen.

Bring along:

• Photo identification

• Social Security cards and birth dates for you, spouse and all dependents

• Wage and earnings statements: W-2, W-2G, 1099-R forms

• Wage and earning statement(s), W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc., 1099 from banks

• A copy of last year's federal and state returns, if available

• Proof of bank account and routing numbers (a blank check) for direct deposit

• Total paid for daycare and provider's Social Security or Employer Identification Number

• To file taxes electronically on a joint return, both spouses must be present to sign forms.