FILE - State and local tax deuctions, IRS SALT deductions

IRS-certified volunteers are ready to assist residents in the Sahuarita/Green Valley area with their income tax preparation and e-filing needs at four locations.The operations will differ slightly at each location.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will operate sites at St. Francis-In-The-Valley Episcopal Church and the Sahuarita Food Bank. AARP Tax-Aide will operate a tax site at La Posada. All East Center appointments are taken. 

The volunteers

Tax preparers in both programs go through a rigorous training and certification process, then must pass IRS certification tests before they can meet with clients. The difference between the two tax programs is their primary customer focus.

•VITA focuses on younger families that may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit and other beneficial IRS programs.

•AARP Tax-Aide focuses on seniors aged 50 and above.

But both programs will prepare and e-file tax returns for anyone who falls within the guidelines determined by the IRS. Neither program can prepare business returns, but many self-employed individuals can utilize the free tax services. Due to Arizona being a community property state, neither program can prepare Married Filing Separately tax returns. Neither program can prepare returns containing farm income. VITA has income restrictions, AARP does not.

Safety protocols

Due to continuing COVID issues, the tax preparation process at each site will involve minimum person-to-person contact. Face masks are required for all interactions between volunteers and clients, unless posted otherwise.

Anyone who feels ill, has been in recent contact with someone with COVID-19, or has tested Positive for COVID within the previous five days should not come to any of the Green Valley tax sites until they feel better or test negative. This health precaution applies to both clients and volunteers.

Tax sites

GVR East Center, 7 S. Abrego Drive, Green Valley: ALL APPOINTMENTS TAKEN. 

St. Francis-In-The-Valley Episcopal Church, 600 S. La Canada, Green Valley: Curbside service only (no appointments), at the rear of the church. This tax site will see clients every Monday, noon to 1:30, and Friday, 9:30-11 a.m., beginning Feb. 4 and ending April 18. Clients will complete an IRS intake sheet and VITA consent forms, then leave that paperwork and their tax documents with a volunteer at their appointment time. The documents will be given to a counselor for preparation of the tax return, then passed on to another counselor for quality review. If any interview questions arise, the preparer or reviewer will contact the client at the phone number listed on their intake sheet. When the tax return is complete, the client(s) will be notified and asked to return to the site to review the completed tax return. Completed tax returns will be e-filed with the IRS and the applicable state(s). For married couples, only one member can be present when completing the initial paperwork, as a COVID precaution. When the tax return is completed, both members need to sign the final paperwork. For further information on this tax site, contact Pat Murphy at 520-329-3818.

Sahuarita Food Bank, at Good Shepherd United Church of Christ Community Resource Center, 17750 S La Canada Drive, Sahuarita: Curbside service only, until the COVID situation subsides. The site will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 9-11 a.m., beginning Feb 1 and ending April 13. Volunteers will meet taxpayers in the parking lot with the required paperwork. Clients will complete the forms in their vehicles and hand them over to a volunteer for review. Tax counselors will prepare and review each return over the next few days, and clients will be called when it’s time to review and sign for their completed return(s). The site will also be open on Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for same-day service, beginning Feb. 3 and ending April 14. The drop-off process will be the same as described above, and clients will be called when their return(s) are completed. If COVID conditions subside, tax counselors may resume face-to-face preparation before the end of the tax season.

La Posada Recreation Building, 685 S La Posada Circle: This is Green Valley’s AARP tax site. It runs Wednesdays and Fridays, beginning Feb. 2 and ending April 15. All dropped off tax return information will be accepted by the site via appointment only. The only state counselors receive training in is Arizona; tax returns for other states cannot be prepared. Appointments can be scheduling, beginning Jan. 18, by accessing an online scheduling program at Clients can select from multiple appointment choices, and they will get a confirmation e-mail after their selection is finalized. Clients without computer access and a valid e-mail address may call 520-222-7652. Please leave a voice message, as necessary. Tax preparation procedures will be similar to those described earlier for St.-Francis-in-the-Valley. Clients may pick up the necessary tax preparation paperwork at Valley Assistance Services, 3950 S. Camino Heroe (in The Springs development), beginning Jan. 25.

Procedures above are all based on the most recent COVID-19 restrictions. If those restrictions change, tax site procedures could also change. Our primary goal is to keep everyone safe during this pandemic. The final day for this year’s tax filing season is April 18. For further information, contact Mark Haskoe at 520-300-6407.

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