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  • Ritchie and Julia Thompson

Free Income Tax Preparation

Volunteers from the Income Tax Assistance organization (VITA) are pleased to provide FREE tax return preparation services in Craven and Pamlico County.

This service is sponsored by the IRS and all the volunteers are IRS certified. Several residents of Fairfield Harbour are volunteers in this important service. The service is intended to assist taxpayers with low or moderate incomes but cannot handle some complex situations such as a small business loss, or rental property. However, most returns are in the scope of the VITA services.

Starting on February 6th, services will be provided on Mondays and Tuesdays at the Harrison Center, 311 Middle Street in New Bern from 9.00 am to 3 pm except February 21 when it will be at “The Pointe” restaurant in Fairfield Harbour also at 9.00 am to 3 pm. This service will continue until “Tax Day” which this year is April 18. You should bring all your tax documents as listed below:

  • State or federally-issued photo ID(s). For example, driving license(s).

  • Social Security Statement

  • Social Security Card

  • Tax documents received in the mail during January and February. They will be recognizable by having a 1099 on the document. For example, 1099-R or 1099-MISC.

  • Brokers statement, if applicable

  • 2022 tax return

  • Any other documents you think will be needed to prepare your 2023 tax return.

Your tax return will be prepared with your participation through a three-step process. The steps are:

  1. You will be asked to complete the intake sheet (IRS form 13514-C) and your tax documents will be checked against the information on the form. Your ID(s) will also be checked.

  2. An IRS-certified preparer will prepare your tax return while you sit with them. Also, your photo ID(s) will be checked (again). You are expected to ask questions and participate in the preparation of your return. All the information goes into an IRS-approved computer system called TaxSlayer. No information is stored at the preparation site. There is the option that the taxpayer can have the return prepared in their absence (drop-off), at least at the New Bern site.

  3. Once the preparation is complete, a reviewer will perform an independent check, again with your participation. When this is complete, your returns are printed and signed by you. They can then be submitted electronically to the IRS and to the NC Department of Revenue. Electronic submission is strongly encouraged as it bypasses the large backlog of paper returns sitting with the IRS. This can speed up any refunds due. The completed returns and all the tax documents are returned to you. Nothing is held at the preparation site.

We recommend getting your tax return to the IRS as soon as possible as this ‘locks’ your social security number so no one else can use it illicitly.

You can find more information on the VITA New Bern website:

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