Our volunteer accountants aren’t available to prepare tax returns for our pro bono clients between January and April. To accommodate our region’s artists, we’ve hosted free tax preparation clinics in partnership with Gateway EITC and the Davis Tax Foundation since 2013. With safety in mind, we won’t be sponsoring these clinics this year. Here are some options to consider if you need assistance:
STL Tax Counselors
Our longtime clinic partners (Davis Tax Foundation volunteers — now organized as STL Tax Counselors) will be preparing tax returns at the Salvation Army in South County, 824 Union Road, beginning January 27. This service will be available by appointment only. Clients will stay in their cars and the volunteers will communicate by cell phone from their socially distanced workspace. Note that this free service is available to families earning less than $66,000 a year. To make an appointment, call 314/400-8291. Please help us maintain our relationship with these amazing volunteers. Be prompt, bring all the requested documents, and cancel if you cannot keep your appointment.
• GetYourRefund, a nonprofit service provided by Code for America in partnership with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), provides free tax filing assistance to families earning less than $66,000 a year. Taxpayers receive one-on-one help from real, live IRS-certified tax preparers. This service can also file back taxes and amendments.
• MyFreeTaxes is a partnership between H&R Block and the United Way. This free online tax preparation service is open to anyone of any income with simple returns, defined as W-2 income, limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV; student education expenses, credits or student loan interest; unemployment income; claiming the standard deduction; EITC; child tax credits; and child and dependent care expenses. Important note: If you need to file Schedule C (self-employment income), capital gains and losses, or income from rental property, you’ll be charged.
File For An Extension
If you file for an extension, meet our income and service area guidelines, and submit an application for assistance, a VLAA volunteer accountant can prepare your return during the summer or early fall.
• IRS: Individual tax filers, regardless of income, can request an automatic tax-filing extension. Filing this form before May 17 gives you until October 15 to file your return. Important note: A filing extension isn’t a payment extension. To avoid penalties and interest, estimate your tax liability on this form and pay any amount due.
• Illinois: If you are granted a federal extension, you are automatically granted an Illinois extension. Note that you’ll have to pay any taxes owed. Use Form IL-505-I, Automatic Extension Payment for Individuals to pay and avoid penalties and interest.
• Missouri: You may not be required to file the MO-7004 form if you have an approved federal extension, do not expect to owe additional state taxes, or if you anticipate receiving a refund. See the instructions for more details. https://dor.mo.gov/forms/MO-7004.pdf
If you’d like to hire a professional, Brass Taxes is an artist-friendly locally owned tax preparation service. You can complete a brief survey to determine how much you’ll be charged.
Peggy Thierheimer has been preparing taxes for visual and performing artists for 25 years. Her 30 years working in the theatre give her a perspective and an understanding of artists’ unique financial situation. Contact her by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information about her rates.