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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) FAQs

Q. What do I need to bring with me? 
Q. I am not sure I have all the information I need. Can you help me? 
Q. I have not received W-2s from all my employers. What should I do? 
Q. I am a foreign student or scholar and have not received a Form 1042-S. Is this form necessary for me to file a return? 
Q. What if I do not have a social security number for myself or a family member? 
Q. I am not sure which forms to file. Can you help me? 
Q. Will you be able to e-file my return? 
Q. Is there a charge for your services? 
Q. When can I expect to receive my refund? 
Q. I am an international student and I have prepared my federal return using the Glacier software provided by the International Center. What should I do? 
Q. I have not filed a return for past year(s). Can you help me with those returns? 
Q. When is my return due? 
Q. What if I owe money? 
Q. What if you e-file my return and there is a problem with it? 
Q. Are there other sites in Lexington which offer this service? 

 

Q. What do I need to bring with me?

A.

  • A photo ID for yourself
  • Social security cards or ITIN letters (original) for yourself and all others on your return
  • A check or the routing and account number for the checking or savings account to be used for direct deposit of your refund if you choose to do so
  • All Forms W-2 from your employers
  • All Forms 1098 or 1099, including: 1099-INT or 1099-DIV from banks or brokers, a record of tuition and fee payments from your college, Form 1098 from your mortgage lender, Form 1099-G from the state or local government, Form 1099-R for pension and retirement income, Form 1099-MISC for other income
  • Students: bring Form 1098-T from your school if you received it
  • Some nonresidents will receive a Form 1042-S for treaty-exempt or other income
  • A copy of last year’s tax return if you have it, is helpful but not necessary

 

Q. I am not sure I have all the information I need. Can you help me?

A. While preparing your return, if it turns out that more information is needed, we will save the work we have done so far. All your documents will be returned to you and we will make arrangements for you to come back as soon as possible and complete the return. 

 

Q. I have not received W-2s from all my employers. What should I do?

A. Contact your employer immediately to find out the reason for the delay. All W-2s should have been mailed out by January 31. If you cannot reach your employer or do not receive any help there, bring the last pay stub or statement from that employment in order to have your return prepared. 

 

Q. I am a foreign student or scholar and have not received a Form 1042-S. Is this form necessary for me to file a return?

A. You may receive a Form 1042-S if you are a nonresident and received income such as wages or scholarships which may be exempt from tax under a tax treaty. If you are unsure, contact your payroll officer. Unlike the Forms W-2, the Form 1042-S is not usually mailed out until early March. If you have treaty-exempt income, you should wait until you receive your 1042-S to have your return prepared. 

 

Q. What if I do not have a social security number for myself or a family member?

A. We can assist you in filing an application for a “tax identification number” along with your return, which is all that is needed for the tax return. It is not a social security number and is not proof of citizenship or authorization to work, but it will enable you to file a tax return. 

 

Q. I am not sure which forms to file. Can you help me?

A. Our volunteers have access to all appropriate federal, state and local returns and forms and will be able to select the ones which you should file. You do not need to bring any forms with you. 

 

Q. Will you be able to e-file my return?

A. Most federal and state forms can be e-filed. If that is an option for you, we will explain how it works. If you cannot or choose not to e-file, we can prepare your return for mailing.

 

Q. Is there a charge for your services?

A. NO. This service is free, thanks to the materials and software provided by the IRS, the space and equipment provided by the College of Law, and the dedicated volunteers who staff our site.

 

Q. When can I expect to receive my refund?

A. If you e-file and select direct deposit of your refund, you can have the money in your account in about two weeks after your return is prepared. The IRS is withholding returns which are claiming the Earned Income Credit or Child Tax Credit for processing after February 15, 2017, so those refunds will likely be available at the end of February. Filing a paper return or receiving a check instead of direct deposit will add several weeks to this time. 

 

Q. I am an international student and I have prepared my federal return using the Glacier software provided by the International Center. What should I do?

A. Bring a print-out of the return as prepared when you come to our site. Our volunteers will review it to ensure it is correct and will assist you with any additional state returns. Or you can go to the Kentucky Revenue Department's free online services at http://revenue.ky.gov/Individual/Pages/Free-File-Options.aspx and select Online Taxes or Tax Act, both of which will prepare your federal nonresident and state returns. 

Q. I have not filed a return for past year(s). Can you help me with those returns?

A. Absolutely. If you are due a refund for past years, you can generally file until three years have expired following the due date of that return. We have past-years’ forms and schedules and can assist you with these items. Because there is no time pressure for these returns, however, we will seek to help those with an April 15 filing deadline first. 

Q. When is my return due?

A. Tax returns are due this year on Tuesday, April 18. If you are filing a paper return, it must be postmarked by that date. If you are e-filing, you need to have completed your return by that date. 

 

Q. What if I owe money?

A. This is an unfortunate situation which does not happen very often. You may file your return before April 18 and still pay the amount due on April 18. We will help you with payment options as well as look at reasons why you may have owed tax and suggest ways to keep the problem from recurring. 

 

Q. What if you e-file my return and there is a problem with it?

A. The IRS filing center will contact us if your return is not accepted for filing. We will then contact you to resolve the problem. Most problems can be resolved with a quick phone call or email. The corrected return will then be resubmitted. 

 

Q. Are there other sites in Lexington which offer this service?

A. There are many other sites in Lexington offering free tax help. You may make an appointment at any site in Central Kentucky by calling United Way of the Bluegrass at 2-1-1 or toll free outside of Lexington at 866-362-6211. Or you may book an appointment online at www.uwbg.org/ckeep or on your phone by texting KYTax to 898-211. There are also appointments outside of Lexington but in Kentucky available from the Department of Revenue at http://revenue.ky.gov/Individual/Pages/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation.aspx.