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HRDC offering new tax program

The HRDC District IX is offering a new tax program in 2023.

According to District Economic Development Director Dean Williamson, the HRDC has traditionally been part of the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. He said this year; they have gone in a different direction.

"We at HRDC--seeing a trend here and nationally--are helping those taxpayers who are interested in preparing their own returns. We have all been trained through the IRS, but this is not affiliated at all with the IRS. We are instead, helping folks access free online tax software apps (there are lots) and enter their own tax information, and submit them. Really, we are helping folks do their own taxes," Williamson said.

Area residents interested in the program can stop by the HRDC's Main office at 32 S. Tracy in Bozeman on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from Noon to 4 p.m. Services will also be available at the Belgrade Library located at 106 N. Broadway on Mondays from Noon to 4 p.m.

Those interested in the services should bring 2022 Tax Documents and forms, including W2, 1099, 1098, and 1095-A/B/C. Other documents are charitable contributions, child care expenses, and bank account information if interested in a direct deposit.

"We think more and more people are doing this, so we are, in part, responding to the trend. We also hope to empower folks to understand their finances and taxes and stand on their own," Williamson said.

Anyone in the region is eligible for tax services.

VITA services will also be available throughout the region through the AARP, with no age restrictions.

The VITA services are restricted to those earning under $58,000.

"That program, essentially, has taxpayers drop their materials to trained tax preparers. Those volunteers prepare returns for taxpayers, who then return to review their materials and submit them. We are happy to refer folks to these services," Williamson said.