EXTENSION CONNECTION: Free VITA tax filing available in February

Jill Breslawski| Special to Gannett

We have entered a new calendar year, but there is one piece of business still left to handle from 2020…taxes! 

I know many readers probably cringe at the thought of filing taxes, but there is a relief to be had in a financial tax refund for some. This year, the IRS will begin accepting and processing individual income tax filing on Feb. 12.

A variety of options are available to individuals seeking to file their taxes, such as visiting a business or financial professional specializing in offering tax preparation services; or purchasing filing software to prepare individual taxes on your own.

Qualifying individuals may utilize the IRS Free File Program to file taxes electronically, on-line for free, with partnering tax preparation companies. Visit the IRS Free File Program website at https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free to see if you qualify. 

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This year, the Okaloosa County Extension office will be offering the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program for eligible individuals. This program is a free service and will begin in mid-February.  

Volunteers with training will be available to prepare and file individual taxes by appointment only for households with a total income of $66,000 or less; additional qualifying criteria will apply. 

Call 850-689-5850 to schedule an appointment beginning Feb. 12; limited space is available. CDC guidelines for COVID-19 at the time of the appointment will be observed. 

For more information on filing individual taxes, contact Jill Breslawski, family & consumer science agent with the UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension, at 850-689-5850 or jbreslawski@ufl.edu.

Jill Breslawski

Jill Breslawski is an agent at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.