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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 19th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 50 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 50

VITA is vital

Amy Asman

People who need some help with their taxes free of cost, look no further: The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers tax preparation services to people who make $50,000 or less annually.

At locations throughout Santa Barbara and SLO counties, IRS-certified volunteers will file documents electronically and look for special tax credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), child tax credits, and credits for the elderly and disabled.

“This year we are able to take our digital tools and resources directly to the community to provide local taxpayers with the knowledge to securely file their returns online,” said Eddie Taylor, CEO for the Northern Santa Barbara County United Way, in a statement to the media. “Thanks to the Walmart Foundation’s support, the MyFreeTaxes[.org] program expands free volunteer income-tax preparation and financial education to serve persons with disabilities,” he said.

According to information provided by the United Way and AARP, the IRS estimates that one out of every five eligible taxpayers fails to claim his or her credits each year.

Numerous community members are lending a hand in this effort, including Certified Public Accountants, students, and employees from the United Way, Community Action Commission, and more.

In Northern Santa Barbara County, tax help is being offered daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Allan Hancock College, 800 S. College Drive, and from 6 to 8 p.m. at the housing authority office, 200 N. McClelland St., in Santa Maria; in Lompoc, services are provided on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the housing authority office, 924 W. Apricot Ave.

A full schedule of VITA services is available online at myfreetaxes.org, a new online feature offered to local residents.

Managing Editor Amy Asman wrote this week’s Community Corner. Information should be sent to the Sun via e-mail, mail, or fax.