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Trained volunteers certified by the IRS and under the guidance of the AARP Foundation will be available to assist people of all ages with federal and state income tax preparation and filing from Feb. 3 until April 14, Fridays and Mondays at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva and on Tuesdays at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva. They will also assist with the information to be filed with the IRS regarding health insurance coverage for 2014. Senior Center hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All persons are helped on a first-come, first-served basis at the Senior Center. Library hours on Tuesdays will be from 3 to 6:45 p.m. by appointment, with appointments available through the Library’s reference desk at (828)586-2016. There is no charge for this service at either location.

Taxpayers are requested to bring picture identification, their own and their dependents’ Social Security cards or a statement from the government that includes their Social Security numbers, copies of their previous year’s tax return, and any W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, interest and dividend statements for 2014 and other documents necessary to complete their 2014 returns.

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The Small Business Center Network of the N.C. Community College System is celebrating 30 years of providing support and assistance to small businesses and start-ups across North Carolina.

Small Business Centers (SBCs) are located at each of the state’s 58 community colleges, providing free confidential business counseling and seminars to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Southwestern Community College’s SBC serves Jackson, Macon, Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary and is led by director Tiffany Henry, who was recently named a statewide Rookie of the Year.

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If you’ve got an idea for starting a business, Southwestern Community College’s Small Business Center is offering a series custom-designed to help guide you through the process of making your dream a reality.

The REAL Business Plan series of eight free sessions will show you how to determine the feasibility of a business idea, analyze and develop marketing strategies, consider important operational issues and become more familiar with business financials.

“Our entire goal in putting this series together is to help equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful,” said Tiffany Henry, director of SCC’s Small Business Center.

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In preparation for the 2015 tax filing season, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a fact sheet detailing information North Carolina tax filers need to know as they prepare to file their federal returns.

This tax season marks the first time individuals and families in North Carolina will be asked to provide basic information regarding their health insurance on their tax returns. Consumers will have questions about this new process and the Administration is committed to providing the information and tools tax filers need to understand the new requirements.

In the coming weeks, the administration will provide additional resources to help consumers prepare for tax filing season, including online tools to help individuals connect with local tax preparation services and determine if they are eligible for an exemption.

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