For many mid- to low-income individuals and families in Central Oregon, the new year can feel like the beginning of a slide into new and unsettling financial challenges. Fortunately, the concern about income tax preparation fees doesn’t have to be one of those challenges.
This year United Way of Deschutes County is proud to offer free tax preparation services to Central Oregon residents in cooperation with Partnership to End Poverty through the Take Credit Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.
The program, now in its sixth year, has helped thousands Central Oregon residents and their families, file their state and federal taxes for FREE! What’s more, as in years past, volunteer tax preparers will be on hand to help you to take advantage of much-needed tax credits that many don’t realize they are entitled to. That might just mean extra money in your pocket and a leg up on those new-year challenges.
Two such credits that VITA volunteers can help people with are the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). Volunteers can help tax filers determine their eligibility and claim the credit if they qualify.
“The money from these credits can make a real difference to workers and their families, particularly when they’re still feeling the effects of a recovering economy,” said Pat McGuinness, programs manager for United Way of Deschutes County.
Workers earning less than about $47,000 from wages, self-employment or farming in 2012 could qualify for the EITC.
VITA appointments are being made now at the numbers listed below for dates ranging from Feb. 2 through April 15.
Bend Downtown Library Wednesday | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
541.389.6507 Sat & Sun. | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Redmond Lynch Elem Mon/Wed | 4 p.m. -7 p.m.
Prineville COIC Saturdays | 9 am – 4 p.m.
Volunteer income tax preparation sites operated by AARP TaxAide and appointment numbers are listed below: For information on these sites, please visit the TaxAide locator at www.aarp.org
Bend Senior Center Mon – Fri. | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
La Pine *PCG
*Pentecostal Church of God Mon./Thurs. | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Warm Springs *FRC Thurs. / Fri. | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
*Family Resource Center
“We are also encouraging everyone to get a bank account before they file if they don’t already have one,” said McGuinness. “It only takes seven to ten working days to have a return directly deposited into a bank account. People should contact local banks or credit unions about a free or low-cost Bank on Central Oregon account. It will only save them time and money.”
For more information visit: www.takecredit.org