With the right software and a handy checklist, Delaware taxpayers can file their taxes online for free!

Taxpayers can save the money they pay to accountants if they do their taxes themselves. But many people are reluctant to do so, fearing an inaccurate return or getting a smaller refund than they should.

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$tand By Me®, a financial empowerment program and partnership with State of Delaware and United Way of Delaware, is making it easy for people to file accurate returns with ease with the website and free filing services known as My Free Taxes. The online tool allows taxpayers to self-file for free using a simple step-by-step process that includes free telephone, email and online chat support from IRS-certified specialists.

“We encourage taxpayers to get prepared and file early using the free service,” said Mary Dupont, Director of Stand By Me® and Director of Financial Empowerment in the Department of Health and Social Services. “They’ll get their refund early and receive the maximum amount they’re allowed.”

The initiative stems from the national My Free Taxes campaign to offer free tax services to those with low- to-moderate household incomes of $60,000 or less. The aim is to help people keep more of their money.

According to MyFreeTaxes.com, since its launch in 2009, 1.7 million households saved $340 million in tax preparation fees and almost $8 billion in tax credits and refunds. Funded by the Walmart Foundation and operated in partnership with Goodwill Industries International, the National Disability Institute and United Way, MyFreeTaxes works with filers to maximize their refunds and help eligible families and individuals claim valuable tax credits to keep more of their hard-earned money and invest in their futures.
“Filing taxes can be a difficult process for many taxpayers,” said Michelle Taylor, President and CEO of United Way of Delaware. “We think those with the low to moderate incomes should not have to pay filing fees, and that is why we support this program.”

A handy checklist of information for Delaware taxpayers

My Free Taxes Delaware provides a checklist of information taxpayers will need to do to file an accurate and complete return, ensuring they get the maximum return allowed. The checklist include tips to:

Gather all pertinent documents, including:
• W-2s for each job held in 2014 for each person in the household. This form reports your name, wages, and other tax information to the IRS
• 1099s showing other income (unemployment, Social Security, state tax refund, gambling winnings, contract work) that is reported to the IRS, if applicable
• 1098s showing payments you’ve made (school loans, property tax)
• 1095-A if you received credit from the healthcare.gov marketplace
• Income/interest statements received for any savings accounts and/or investments
• Bank account numbers: a voided check or your bank or credit union routing number, if you qualify for a refund via secure direct deposit
• Last year’s tax return (if you have it)
Collect information for everyone in the household, such as:
• Name and taxpayer number as they appear on the Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (including children and relatives in your care)
• Date of birth and relationship (son, daughter, mother, etc.)
• Current address (It may be different from the address on your employment records.)
Identify additional items to get a larger refund:
• Childcare expenses: names, address, tax ID or name of the child care provider
• Business expenses and assets: if you are self-employed or have a small business
• College loans and/or scholarships received, and bills for technical/community college or university (Forms 1098-T/1098-E)
• Educator expenses: For teaching grades K-12 (school supplies and materials used in the classroom)
• Charitable donations: List of contributions and amounts, receipts for contributions over $250
• Vehicles: Automobile sales tax, personal property tax statement for each car you own, total miles driven for the year and/or total miles driven for business
• Renters: Amount of rent paid over the last year
• Homeowners: Mortgage interest statement (Form 1098), real estate taxes paid, statement of property tax payable in 2014
• Retirement/IRA: Amount contributed to an IRA and total value as of December 31, 2014
• Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): If you need to apply for an ITIN for yourself or a family member, find out what other documents you need to take with you when you get help filing your taxes
For more information or to get started on filing taxes, go to http://myfreetaxesde.com/