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Event offers free tax help
Assistance open to income-eligible families
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

• What: VITA Program free tax preparation

• Who: Families who make less than $49,000 a year in total household income

• When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23

• Where: United Way of Forsyth County, 240 Elm St.

• To schedule an appointment, call (770) 781-4110. Walk-ins accepted by 2 p.m.

• For more information, go to

United Way of Forsyth County has partnered with a volunteer tax service to provide free help to lower-income families.

Melissa Corliss, director of community impact, said three tax preparers from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program will hold an event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23 at the local United Way office.

“It’s for families who have a [yearly] household income of $49,000 or less, those are the folks that are eligible,” Corliss said.

Each tax preparer will likely spend about 45 minutes with each family, Corliss said.

She added she didn’t know about how many people might take advantage of the event.

“When this is offered, it is offered not only to folks in our community, but also to folks in surrounding communities,” she said. “So we may get people from Dawson and Cherokee counties, some of those areas as well. We’ll just be here until the last family is taken care of.”

Those who attend will need to bring all tax-related documents such as W-2s, mortgage interest, property taxes and closing statements, as well as forms relating to child care or dependent care expenses or educational costs.

All parties also will need to bring valid photo identification and one of the following: Social Security card or letter; adoption taxpayer identification number card or letter; or individual taxpayer identification number card or letter.

They also need to bring last year’s tax return and a voided check or bank account number if they wish to receive a direct deposit of their refund.

“It’s really important that they bring everything with them that is needed,” Corliss said. “That will be an issue if they don’t.”

Corliss said the VITA program is good for families who might need a little extra help financially.

“It does help those families that may be getting money back from taxes because it helps them defer that cost that might be involved with tax preparation,” she said.

She said it also can be “a good learning experience” especially if families have been doing taxes on their own.

“They may be eligible for an earned income tax credit or a child tax credit that they might not be aware of,” she said. “This gives them the benefit of having professional tax preparers look at their returns.

“It’s just another way to help lower-income families.”

Those who fall into the income bracket can call (770) 781-4110 to make an appointment. Walk-ins will also be served as long as they get to the location by 2 p.m.