Goodwill to Host Free Tax Prep Service for Mecklenburg County

Volunteer tax professionals will be available to help through Goodwill's VITA site

Organization is serving as one of five local VITA sites

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service and the Family Financial Literacy Coalition (FFLC), will open its doors next Tuesday to provide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) for those who qualify.

The organization will operate the VITA site at its Career Development Center at 2122 Freedom Drive in Charlotte during the 2011 tax season, which ends on April 17. The site will be open by appointment only each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for walk-ins.

“Tax season can be difficult to navigate, not only for the more than 44,000 people in Mecklenburg County who are unemployed, but also for their families,” said Jaslyn Roberts, manager of family strengthening at Goodwill. “Serving as a VITA site allows Goodwill to bring together community resources to help taxpayers understand how to make the best financial decisions, which will affect their careers, families and futures.”

Goodwill encourages taxpayers to ask about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides tax breaks for some working families who earn up to $50,000 and can provide refunds up to $5,751. 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. For more information about the EITC, click here.

To better educate local taxpayers about the EITC and community resources that are available, Goodwill is also hosting two special events at its Freedom Dr. location:

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day
Saturday, Jan. 28 (9 a.m. until 1 p.m.)
Open to all taxpayers, EITC Awareness Day is sponsored by Community Link and will feature education and resources from Goodwill, Wells Fargo, Piedmont Natural Gas and Fifth Third Bank

Veterans Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Appreciation Day
Saturday, Feb. 4 (9 a.m. until 1 p.m.)
Open to veterans (former service members) and their families, this day will include information and resources specific to veterans. Sponsored by Community Link, Veterans EITC Appreciation Day will include participation by Goodwill’s Operation Independence program, The Benefit Bank, and Veteran Services of Mecklenburg Co.

To schedule an appointment for Goodwill’s VITA site, or to see if you qualify for free tax preparation, please call (704) 761-VITA (8482).

Please bring the following items with you:
• Photo ID
• Social Security cards and birth dates for you, your spouse and your dependents (if you file a joint return with your spouse, both of you must be present to sign)
• Wage and earning statements from all employers or income sources for 2011
• Total amounts of itemized deductions (charitable contributions, donations, etc.)
• Bank documents if you would like direct deposit

For more information on VITA sites in our area, visit Community Link.

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