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Free tax help

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The IRS wants to help you. It offers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, to low- and moderate-income workers.  

Those earning less than $50,000 a year can get help filing their taxes for free -- at dozens of locations across the area.  

"Families in the community were spending so much money to get their taxes prepared and to purchase rapid refund products," said Dominique Derbigny with METROCASH. 

Professionals review your paperwork and file your taxes electronically; making sure deductions like the earned income tax credit are not overlooked. 

"The earned income tax credit is actually the nation's largest antipoverty campaign. It lifts over 5 million families over the poverty line each year and more than half of those are children," Derbigny stated. 

Since 1968, AARP has helped seniors and low-income earners finish their taxes. The goal is to keep your hard-earned money in your own pocket. One of AARP's partnerships is at Goodwill. Trained volunteers are here to assist anybody who needs tax help with a special emphasis on the elderly. 

"Often times they're on a fixed income. It's an expense you don't necessarily plan for," explained Ellen Thornhill with Goodwill. 

Goodwill helps more than 100 people a week at the Richmond and Petersburg locations. It's a service that Goodwill says fits its overall mission. 

"Our whole focus is to make the community stronger, support the community, help the under privileged," Thornhill said. 

And if you'd like to do it yourself but don't want to buy the software, the Virginia Department of Taxation's "Free File" has six different programs for those meeting certain income requirements. 

There is free help available in almost every jurisdiction in our area. For more information on times and locations, click on the links below.

http://www.metrocash.org/assets/PDFs/MetroCASH_sites_2012.pdf

http://www.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action

http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=FreeFile

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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