Free Tax Preparation Service for Forsyth County Residents
3:22pm Jan 24, 2013
Winston-Salem's Experiment in Self Reliance operates the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program--also called Vita Tax. It provides free tax preparation to Forsyth County residents who earn less than 51,000 dollars.
According to Program Manager Takia Miller, her offices are normally operating by this time. But due to federal legislation, the IRS won’t accept tax returns until January 30. Thus, Miller says the Vita Tax offices will open February 1. And the delay is causing some of Miller’s clients to worry. “Most of our clients receive an earned income tax credit. A refundable credit for low to moderate income people that ranges from $1 to $5,800. So this extra money really helps to sustain their living over the course of a year. The program is a lot of those people are in such a tight bind for this refund money, they may opt to go to a paid preparer where they may spend $200-$400 dollars to have their taxes done when they can have them done with us completely free.”
In addition, Miller says her staff won’t get all of the updated tax forms until late next week. And she believes the two day difference won’t have much of an effect on when people get their refund. "The IRS does not process refunds daily; they process them on a weekly scale. So I strongly suggest to everyone I talk to, just wait until February 1.”
Meanwhile, Miller explains the Vita Tax program is also going online. “They (clients) can prepare their state and federal taxes through us at no cost as long as they make less than $57,000. And if they don’t have access to a computer they can come to the Goodwill on University Parkway on Wednesdays or Thursday. Or to the Truliant on Saturdays, we’ll have computers set up at those locations. And another advantage to going to those sites, we’ll have tax coaches at these locations if they have questions about things.”
There will be nine locations in Winston-Salem. Lean more about it Friday, January 25th, during a public information event at the Winston-Salem Transit Authority located at 100 West 5th Street from 11 a.m. until Noon. This will also be a VITA Tax preparation site.