There are three Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites in Bellingham this year that I know about. AARP is running one at the Central Library. There is a site at Western buried in Parks Hall, run by the Business School. Gotta love em for doing it, even with Western's Parking Zombie Patrol. Don't bother parking on campus, take the bus. They don't have enough business at the WWU site, while the Central Library has a line out the door. The third site is Monday and Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings at Heiner Library at Whatcom Community College. The best part is the price: FREE!!
I'm on the Friday morning shift at Whatcom. Things have been slacking off around 11:00, offering me a great opportunity to catch up on my internet surfing, but it's an even better opportunity for someone to get their taxes done.
VITA, in case you never heard about it, is staffed entirely by certified volunteers. Maybe that should be "certifiable" volunteers. It was my first time through the certification course, and I found it quite character building. There are some restrictions on the types of returns that VITA volunteers are allowed to do, but the vast majority of folks will find it's a good fit.
Bring ID, social security numbers for all family members, all forms W-2 and 1099, mortgage interest and real estate tax statements, list of business expenses by category if you are a sole proprietor. Schedule C expenses up to $10,000 are within the scope of VITA. If your business expenses are larger or you own an LLC, corporation or some other fancy schmancy entity, plan on paying a professional tax preparer. VITA volunteers cannot do out of state tax returns. Nothing too weird, eh?
Plan on some spent time waiting around. Heh, nothing is totally free.