Free tax preparation for low-income residents coming Jan. 30

tax return help jobsplus

Crestview JobsPlus manager Rita Smith, University of Florida Okaloosa County Extension Office agent Elaine Courtney and IRS tax consultant Holly McCarroll discuss plans for an income tax assistance program starting Jan. 30. Volunteers will help moderate- to low-income taxpayers prepare their income tax returns.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin Tax Help
Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 at 04:08 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The time to begin filing tax returns is just around the corner.

To help low- to moderate-income households, the Crestview JobsPlus will host free income tax preparation, by appointment, starting Jan. 30.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, serves households annually earning $51,000 or less.

"The idea is that if someone can come to a free site and get their taxes done, than that is money that they saved," Elaine Courtney, a University of Florida Okaloosa County Extension Office agent, said. "It will be a service to those that need it in the community." 

The VITA program has been available to service members living on Okaloosa military bases, but this is the first time all the county’s residents may participate.

"There were two (counties) in Florida that didn't have VITA (last year), and we were one of them," Courtney said. The other county was Gadsden.

Crestview’s VITA program currently has seven IRS-trained and certified volunteers to help qualified households prepare their tax returns.

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