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More than half of taxpayers pay a tax preparer to file their tax return.

Before using a commercial tax preparer, check out the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) through East Missouri Acton Agency. They can prepare and e-file your taxes for free.

If you earn under $40,000 for married filers and under $29,000 for single filers, you may be able to get free tax filing help through the IRS-sponsored VITA program. This program can provide e-filing. Community volunteers receive IRS training to assist individuals with tax returns. For more information, call EMAA: 573-431-0103 in St. Francois County; 573-438-3528 in Washington County; or 573-783-5226 in Madison County. 

Items you will need to bring include valid photo ID for all taxpayers; Social Security Cards and birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents listed on the form; all forms 1095-A, B or C, health insurance statements; health insurance exemption certificate if received; income documentation including W-2 forms from all jobs worked in 2019 and all 1099 forms showing other income; and a blank check for direct deposit of your refund.

Other documents may be needed such as property tax bills, child care expenses, mortgage company statements, alimony received, any notices received from IRS, college tuition and student loan interest statements, and other income such as prizes, scholarships and lottery winnings. 

The program began Feb. 4 and ends April 15.

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