February 2, 2010

VITA office open in downtown New Town

VITA office open in downtown New Town
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

A grant from the Internal Revenue Service is not only allowing a local VITA office to be open in downtown New Town, but is keeping personnel on staff year round.
VITA, which stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, has been around many years and has been available in New Town since 1993. It is designed for those who may not be able to pay a fee to a tax preparer. Taxpayers who can utilize VITA would include elderly, those with incomes below the poverty line, college students and those with disabilities.
Vikki Fox works in the New Town office. She will be in New Town three days a week for the next five weeks, or while taxes are going strong, as she puts it.
“We want to let them know that there are free services to file electronic returns, or for first time taxpayers; the younger generation may not be aware of it.”
According to Fox, the office, which partners with the IRS, is actually open the year round, but now is the season, until April 15, that everyone needs to get their taxes completed.
“We want to make sure taxpayers file correctly and if you do have problems with the IRS, it doesn’t have to be scary,” Fox said. “We want to help them get caught up.”
According to Fox, one of the things the IRS prides itself in providing VITA, is that VITA is available in hard to reach areas. She said New Town and the Fort Berthold Reservation falls into that category because most tax preparers often times focus on the larger communities where the populations are greater, thus there’s more business.
With VITA, it’s more about the service of filing your taxes since it is mandatory for every adult. Fox said VITA serves Fort Berthold, including Mountrail, McKenzie, Dunn and McLean counties. Two other reservation sites exist in North Dakota, Turtle Mountain and Spirit Lake reservations.
 


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