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United Way to offer free tax preparation and filing

The United Way of Lamar County (UWLC) will offer free tax preparation and filing for those who qualify again this tax season.

UWLC Executive Director Jenny Wilson explains, “According to a recent study by the National Society of Accountants, the average cost of getting your taxes done is $261. For struggling households or the elderly on a fixed income, this added expense is an unnecessary burden. All of our volunteers go through extensive training and must recertify with the IRS annually.”

IRS certified volunteers will prepare taxes as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program beginning Monday, February 22nd at the United Way office, located at 2340 Lamar Avenue, on Mondays and Fridays from 9am-3pm and on Wednesday afternoons. By appointment only. Please call 903-784-6642 for an appointment.

All United Way VITA volunteers and clients will adhere to CDC recommendations regarding social distancing and will require masks.  We ask that you wait in your vehicle until your appointment time.

Wilson adds, “All necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of our volunteers, our staff and those we are serving.  Our Board of Directors felt that the VITA program is too important a part in our fight for financial stability for all citizens in Lamar County not to provide that service this year, but we are also committed to ensuring everyone’s safety as a top priority.”

To be eligible for VITA services at the United Way of Lamar County your household income must be less than $56,000 in 2020.  The United Way VITA site also cannot prepare taxes for those who are “married filing separately”, have income from rental property, or for those who are self-employed with employees or inventor/depreciation/ business expenses.

Each tax season, volunteers at the United Way of Lamar County prepare about 300 tax returns for low income households and the elderly.  In addition, the United Way has a free online tax preparation program – MyFreeTaxes.com

If you have questions on the VITA program or MyFreeTaxes.com, please contact our offices at (903) 784-6642.