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Free tax help now available in the Coastal Bend

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 13:32:53-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Tax season has officially started and the VITA Coalition is ready to go!

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is providing free tax preparation services to individuals and families who earned $56,000 or less in 2019. Those who qualify can receive free basic tax return preparation from IRS-certified volunteers who can help them claim available tax credits and electronically file their taxes.

“Our goal is to help people avoid fees, claim the tax credits they're eligible for, and obtain the largest refund possible,” said Donna Hurley, Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of the Coastal Bend. “By providing this service at no charge, taxpayers can retain more of their income, which can then go toward groceries, bills, and other expenses.”

Those wanting to use the free service can visit one of ten VITA tax preparation sites that will be available in the Coastal Bend through April 15.

Be sure to bring:

  • Your government-issued photo ID
  • Social Security card or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) letter for all individuals listed on the return
  • W-2s, 1099s and all other tax-related documents for 2019
  • Form 1095-A, B or C Health Insurance Coverage Statement
  • All 1098 E&T forms for educational expenses
  • Proof of daycare expenses, along with childcare provider name, address, phone number and tax ID number
  • Voided check if using direct deposit for refund
  • Copy of your 2018 return, if applicable

For joint returns, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

To find a list of free tax help locations, visit https://www.uwcb.org/vita.

Volunteers are also needed who are willing to be trained to help others complete their taxes for the 2020 season. Those interested will participate in two free training sessions, receiving in-depth training on the tax code from IRS certified trainers. Once the certification test is passed, those volunteers will then be ready to assist eligible taxpayers, free of charge.

Each of the free training classes must be attended, and will be held on the 2nd floor of the O’Connor Building at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (6300 Ocean Drive) on Saturday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 8.

To learn more, visit https://www.uwcb.org/VITAVolunteer. You may also call (361) 882-2529 or email Jamey.Byrne@uwcb.org.