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Cherokee Nation to offer free tax preparation service beginning Feb. 1

Friday, January 12, 2024 - Beginning Feb. 1, the Cherokee Nation will offer its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to help eligible families prepare to file their 2023 state and federal income tax forms for free.

 

The VITA program has prepared and submitted nearly 18,000 tax returns in the past 10 years, helping taxpayers receive nearly $26 million in tax refunds including earned income tax credits. Last year alone, the tribe’s VITA program helped more than 2,000 taxpayers by saving preparation fees that are normally charged for those services.

 

“Ensuring that Cherokee families have access to free and accurate tax preparation services is a cornerstone of the Cherokee Nation Commerce Service’s commitment to community support,” Small Business Assistance Center Director Stephen Highers said. “By offering this VITA program, we aim to alleviate financial burdens and empower our Cherokee citizens to navigate tax season with confidence. Financial well-being is our priority, and we are here to make the process seamless and accessible to all.”

The Cherokee Nation has partnered with the IRS for over 40 years to provide the free tax preparation program to Native and non-Native families. To qualify for the service, an individual and household income must not exceed more than $64,000 per year. There is no jurisdictional boundary requirement to be eligible for this program.

 

This year, the service will run Feb. 1 through April 15. Volunteers from various departments throughout Cherokee Nation will be preparing the returns using the basic 1040 form. All returns will be e-filed by VITA at no charge.

 

Appointments must be made at one of 13 tax preparation sites, including Catoosa, Claremore, Jay, Muskogee, Nowata, Ochelata, Pryor, Salina, Sallisaw, Stilwell, Tahlequah, Vinita and Westville.

 

To use the service, families must provide Social Security cards for all household members being claimed on tax return, a current photo ID, all tax documents which may include W-2’s, 1099’s 1095-A and banking information for direct deposit. Additional documents may be required.

 

The find a VITA program anywhere in the U.S., call 1-800-906-9887 or visit https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/.

 

For individuals or families with an annual income $79,000 or less, the tribe’s Commerce department recommends preparing state and federal taxes online for free at www.olt.com/main/vita.

 

Appointments can be made by calling 918-453-5536 beginning on January 16.

 

The following is a list of free tax preparation sites offered by Cherokee Nation:

 

Catoosa: Cherokee Nation Career Services, 701 W. Rollins St.

Open 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays by appointment only.

 

Claremore: Will Rogers Senior Complex, 202 E. Stuart Roosa.

 Open 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays by appointment only.

 

Jay: Sam Hider Health Center, 859 E. Melton Drive, Training Kitchen.

 Open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays by appointment only.

 

Muskogee: Three Rivers Health Center 1001 S. 41st St. E. Second floor conference room.

 Open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays by appointment only.

 

Nowata: Will Rogers Health Center, 1020 Lenape Dr.

 Open 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesdays by appointment only.

 

Ochelata: Cooweescoowee Health Center, 39500 W. 2900 Rd.

 Open 10:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Tuesdays by appointment only.

 

Pryor: Cherokee Nation Career Services, 6789 US-69.

 Open 9:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays by appointment only.

 

Salina: Cherokee Nation Food Distribution, 900 Owen Walters Blvd.

 Open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesdays by appointment only.

 

Sallisaw: Redbird Smith Health Center, 301 S. JT Stites St.

 Open 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays by appointment only.

 

Stilwell: Cherokee Nation Career Services, 219 W. Oak St.

 Open 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursdays by appointment only.

 

Tahlequah: Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center, 19600 E. Ross St., Conference Room A.

 Open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays appointment and walk-in.

 

Vinita: Vinita Health Center, 27371 S. 4410 Rd., Cabin Creek 1

 Open 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays by appointment only.

 

Westville: Bushyhead Heights, 150 Goingsnake Rd., Community Room.

 Open 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays by appointment only.


KXMX Staff Writer


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