Local tax sites offer important tips and reminders for tax season

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: January 22, 2021 06:27 PM
Created: January 22, 2021 05:40 PM

Local tax sites like Community Action Duluth (CAD) and H & R Block are prepping for what they expect to be a busier than usual tax season and offered some important reminders as you prepare to fill out those tax forms.

Although tax filing season has been delayed to Feb. 12, you can start filling out your forms now to make the process smoother and easier.

CAD is offering free tax preparation services starting next Tuesday, Jan. 26. this is for individuals and families making less than $57,000 a year.

CAD will be filing both Minnesota and Wisconsin tax returns. Services are virtual or you can also drop-off your documents at the tax site. However, you will need to pick up a packet at CAD first then complete it and bring it back with your relevant tax documents.

"The packets include all the paperwork you need to fill out as well as very in depth directions about when to bring stuff back and checklist to make sure that you have all the documents that might be relevant to your situation," said Zayla Asquith-Heinz, the tax site manager for CAD.

Volunteers at CAD check the documents once you bring them back to make sure they are good to go.

CAD is also filing taxes from 2016 to 2020. They will have health protocols in place with face mask requirements, social distancing, hand sanitizer, and plexiglass to make it a safe and comfortable experience when you're there.

"We have these precautions in place to make it a little bit more virtual to keep you home more to make it all safer and to keep ourselves open so that we can keep serving," said Asquith-Heinz.

With new forms and many doing their taxes online, CAD and H & R Block are offering some key reminders.

"If you haven't received all of the stimulus checks or economic impact payments that you think you should have received by now, we can easily incorporate that into your tax return," said Asquith-Heinz.

"A big misunderstanding for individuals who may be receiving unemployment compensation is that those benefits are taxable," said Daniel Woodard, a manager for H & R Block.

Those who received unemployment should get a 1099-G form in the mail.

"It's also important to note that some folks may have gotten unemployment and didn't get anything withheld from their unemployment checks, which could result in a lower refund so we want people to brace for that as well," said Asquith-Heinz.

There's also a change in the tax form for self-employed.

"There's a new form called a 1099-NEC so they're going to be receiving that instead of the miscellaneous and they're going to need that to file their return," said Woodard.

Making sure you have all of the documents you need is crucial as well.

"Making sure that you've got your records put together really good is essential to having an accurate return prepared. A couple missing documents could be a big difference between getting what you need and then missing out on a few credits that you actually qualify for. If you're self-employed or working for a gig economy like a rideshare app, having great records for mileage and related vehicle expenses is important so you've got everything really put together for your return," said Woodard.

CAD is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to pick up paperwork for taxes. When you have completed it, you can bring the packet and necessary documents to CAD during these times:

Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Fridays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For more information on hours and filing taxes with CAD, click here. You can contact taxes@communityactionduluth.org or call
218-726-1665 with questions. CAD is located on 2424 W 5th St in room #102. 

H & R Block has a tax calculator and a prep checklist online. Click here to learn how to file with H & R Block.

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Alejandra Palacios

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