Free Help with Your Taxes This Year
Tax season can be confusing, but it shouldn’t be costly. Beginning this month, Goodwill is offering two free tax preparation services to qualified Mecklenburg County residents.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a volunteer-run service offered in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service and Community Link. IRS-certified tax preparers will file returns for individuals or families with an adjusted gross income of $51,000 or less. Goodwill will operate the VITA site at its Career Development Center (2122 Freedom Drive, Charlotte) beginning Wednesday, January 30 through Saturday, April 13. The site will be open by appointment only each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and each Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. for walk-ins. Review our checklist to make sure you bring the appropriate documents with you.
Goodwill encourages taxpayers to ask about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides tax breaks for some working families who earn up to $51,000 and can provide refunds up to $5,891. The IRS estimates that nearly 25 percent of eligible workers do not claim the EITC each year because they lack awareness of the program, cannot afford costly tax preparation fees or fear they will lose public benefits by filing. To better educate local taxpayers about the Earned Income Tax Credit, Goodwill will host a free EITC Awareness Day on Saturday, February 2 from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at its Career Development Center.
Goodwill has also partnered with MyFreeTaxes to provide free state and federal tax preparation and filing assistance for qualified individuals or families with an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less. The MyFreeTaxes online software has helped 4.5 million families claim nearly $6 billion in tax credits and refunds since 2009. All you need to get started is a valid email address and these documents.
Not sure which free tax service is best for you? Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two programs.
|Overview||Volunteer tax preparers help taxpayers file returns on site||User-friendly online software helps taxpayers file from home|
|Eligibility||Adjusted gross income ≤ $51,000||Adjusted gross income ≤ $57,000|
|Dates||Jan. 30-April 13||Jan. 30-April 15|
|Hours of operation||T, W, Th 6:00-9:00 p.m. (appts.)Sat. 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (walk-ins)||Customer support (Mon.-Sat.)10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.|
|Location||Career Development Center||From any computer|
|Required documentation||See link above||See link above|
|Additional information||(704) 761-VITA (8482)||http://www.myfreetaxes.com/gisp|
The 2013 tax deadline is April 15. This year, our goal is to break last year’s record by helping more people than ever file their taxes. You can help us by spreading the word about our free tax preparation services with your friends and family, neighbors and co-workers.