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Puerto Rico Treasury opens free tax assistance centers

Acting Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Nelson Pérez-Méndez announced that five Electronic Filing and Preparation Centers in various municipalities across the island opened to provide free assistance “to salaried employees and retirees who require it.”

The centers work with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, helping eligible individuals claim the additional Child Tax Credit (CTC) by filing IRS Form 1040-SS.

“As part of the 2024 Tax Cycle, on Thursday we began offering free assistance in the preparation and filing of electronic tax returns and with the application for the Additional Child Tax Credit, or CTC. Like previous years, the Centers will assist taxpayers by appointments that are coordinated through https://hacienda.turnospr.com. This appointment system has proven to be very effective because, in addition to avoiding crowds, it helps taxpayers organize their schedules and manage the time they will invest in the process,” Pérez-Méndez said.

The centers are located in:

  • Caguas: City Hall Building, Salón Wilnelia Merced Forsyth 
  • Carolina: Plaza Carolina Mall, 2nd floor, Local 25-A3 
  • Mayagüez: Mayagüez Town Center, Local 206 
  • Ponce: Plaza Del Caribe, 2nd floor, Local 253 
  • San Juan: Plaza Las Américas, 2nd floor, Local 121

Taxpayers must arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment. If unable to attend, they should cancel and reschedule using the same link, Treasury said in its news release.

“Only salaried individuals and retirees, who are American citizens residing in Puerto Rico throughout the tax year and whose tax returns require the following attachments will be attended: Schedule A (Applicable Deductions), Schedule A1 (Dependents and Beneficiaries of Educational Contribution Accounts and My Future Accounts), Schedule B (Recollect of Excess Claimed Credits, Tax Credits and other payments and withholdings), Schedule B2 (American Opportunity Credit), Schedule CH (Assignment of Child Exemption Claims), Schedule CO (Optional Computation of Tax), Schedule FF (Interest, Dividends and Miscellaneous Income), Schedule H (Income from Annuities or Pensions received in the form of periodic payments), and Schedule IE (Excluded and Exempt Income),” the official said.

For the preparation and filing of the 2023 return, individuals must bring: Social Security numbers and birthdates for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents; a copy of driver’s license or other photo ID; an active email address; withholding statements (Forms 499R-2/W-2PR or Form 499R-2c/W-2cPR) for 2023; Information Returns (Forms 480.6A, 480.6B, 480.6D, and 480.7C) for 2023; and evidence of deductions such as mortgage interest and student loan interest. If filing jointly and one spouse cannot attend, they must provide Form SC 2745, a power of attorney and photo ID.

To claim the American Opportunity Credit, taxpayers are required to provide Form 480.7G or Form 1098-T and the student’s Criminal Record Certificate, as well as a breakdown of educational expenses, establishment names and purchase receipts with a copy of the course outline.

To claim the CTC, taxpayers must:

  • Have income from wages or pensions only from sources in Puerto Rico, not exceeding $200,000 or $400,000 for joint filers, and have no taxable income federally.
  • Not need to file a federal income tax return.
  • Have qualified dependents as per the IRS.
  • Submit Form 13614-C, available at www.irs.gov.

Those not meeting these requirements should visit other IRS VITA Centers, listed at www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.

Taxpayers needing to make payments can do so at the time of filing by providing a bank account number and routing number, authorizing payment for a later date, no later than April 15. Payments can also be made using Puerto Rico’s Internal Revenue Unified System ( SURI, in Spanish) accounts or by calling Hacienda Responde at 787-620-2323, and selecting option 3.

Payment methods include Visa or MasterCard credit and debit cards, or using a checking or savings account. “In these cases, the payment receipt will be sent via email,” Treasury said.

At the centers, taxpayers will receive a physical copy of their filed return and have it available in their SURI files.

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