Free Tax Assistance Offered Through Joint Program
For the City Times
With tax season just around the corner, local organizations and volunteers are once again gearing up to offer free tax assistance to Portage County senior citizens, and low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a joint effort of Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) and CAP Services, offers free tax help to people with annual incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
The AARP Tax Assistance Program, a joint effort of the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Lincoln Center, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the Portage County Public Library offers free tax preparation services targeted at senior citizens and adults with disabilities.
A new law requires the IRS to delay issuing refunds for certain taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. The law has no exceptions and is designed to make it easier for the IRS to find and stop fraud.
It also means some filers may be more vulnerable to refund anticipation loans and other potentially costly products.
“Many of our filers receive over 30 percent of their annual income in tax refunds, making their tax returns vital to their financial lives,” said Erin Olson, CAP Services’ Innovation and Engagement Coordinator. “We are dedicated to helping as many community members as we can and encourage taxpayers to be wary of preparers promising faster refunds through expensive financial products, like loans.”
Starting Wednesday, January 18, people can call United Way’s 2-1-1 to determine eligibility and schedule an appointment to have their taxes prepared and e-filed for free.
Households that make less than $64,000 may also choose to file online for free at MyFreeTaxes.com.