Thanks to our generous community supporters, we're busy prepping to kick off our annual free tax service on Jan. 30!
This is the fifth year we've offered free tax services, which are completed by trained and certified volunteers as part of the national Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program. Individuals and families with an annual household income of $53,000 or less are eligible for the free assistance. You don't even have to live in Union County to qualify!
In 2015, our tax service volunteers filed an astonishing 279 income tax returns -- 121 more than last year. The service saved residents an estimated $65,000 in tax preparation fees and got them more than $360,000 in total refunds! Though Common Heart receives a small federal grant for the program, we depend on donations from the community to keep the free service.
“Our free tax service helps take the stress out of tax time and allows our hard-working neighbors to use the money they save on tax preparation fees for other needs, like food, rent or medical bills,” Executive Director Keith Adams said. “We serve people from all walks of life – college students, teachers, hair stylists, retail staff, local government employees and retirees.”
The free service at 116 Business Park Drive, suite A in Indian Trail, starts Saturday, Jan. 30 and is available by appointment only on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through April 15. To make an appointment, residents should call 704-684-9007.
Volunteer Site Coordinator Susan Ochs, of Marvin, said as she approaches her fourth year at the free tax service, she's eager to connect with new and old friends.
“We have a lot of people who come back from year to year and you kind of get to know them. You sort of catch up,” she said. “For those who we haven't served before, I want them to know that yes, it really is free. There is no catch. We prepare state and federal taxes, e-file them and they just have to sit back and wait for the return.”
Want to learn more? Visit http://CommonHeart.org.
It's not too late to become a trained tax service volunteer! Email Susan.Ochs@CommonHeart.org