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Keren Arista, financial stability coordinator for United Way of Southern Cameron County, a coalition partner, said that last year 195 VITA volunteers helped 2,561 county residents and secured almost $2.5 million in EITCs roughly half a million more than the previous year.
The only other VITA site to require an appointment is Ethel Whipple Memorial Library in Los Fresnos, which will offer tax assistance Thursday evenings through March 6. To make Omega Watches Price In India
VITA sites that do not require an appointment are the Boys Girls Club of Laguna Madre, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, Community Development Omega Seamaster Chrono Corporation of Brownsville, Gladys Porter High School, Harlingen Outreach Center, James Pace High School, La Hacienda Casitas in Harlingen, Lopez High School and Rivera High School.
"A good goal is to file a tax return before Feb. 15 and fill out the FAFSA before March 1," she said.
Coalition offers free assistance to residents
the UTB financial aid office.
The main VITA site, Room F 6 of the ITEC Center at 301 Mexico Blvd., is open six days a week except for March 10 14. To make an appointment, call (956) 295 3761 or (956) 590 0266.
April 15 to families and individuals with household incomes of $51,000 or less. Eleven Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites have been set up around the county.
At the library and UTB sites, certified VITA volunteers will be on hand during scheduled periods to answer tax questions and help filers with the software. Information on the days and times volunteers will be on hand is available at the library branches and Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Lume
Families with students applying to college should try to file their returns in early February in order to complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) form in time, she said. Arista recommended that families give themselves five to 10 days between e filing their tax return and submitting the online FAFSA form.
"Step one in getting an online FAFSA application done is getting a tax return prepared," she said.
Bring any other tax documents for income or expenses that apply to your specific tax situation. If filing in the "married filing jointly" category, both spouses must be present. Walk in sites are first come, first serve.
Arista said the coalition is making an extra effort this year to reach out to military veterans who might benefit from VITA services.
This is the 10th year the coalition has offered free tax assistance to county residents. Arista said VITA has been around since the 1970s and that Texas Southmost College once ran a site here.
High schools' participation in the coalition, in which juniors and seniors receive training to become IRS certified volunteer tax preparers, is partly aimed at helping parents get FAFSA forms submitted on time, Arista said.
For direct deposit, bring a bank routing number and account number or a canceled check. Residents with students in college should also bring their 1098 forms.
There are many Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites across Cameron County where residents can visit to find help to file their federal income tax returns. Here's a list of locations and documents you must take to the locations.
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The software is also available at UTB's Financial Aid office, Room 1.120 Main (formerly the education and business complex) on University Boulevard the first three weeks of February.
The IRS had noticed that a lot of people were leaving tax credits on the table simply because they weren't filing tax returns, Arista said.
"But then the IRS back in 2003 started trying to organize coalitions in different communities to work in partnerships," she said. "That's why United Way stepped in and started working as a coalition in the county and really started making an impact."
"People didn't realize they actually had to do their taxes," she said.
As for the regular VITA walk in sites, Arista said it's a good idea to get there early (though not before service hours) to get your name on the list. Things are especially busy the first two weeks of February, as people file early to get their tax refunds, she said.
an appointment at the library call (956) 233 5330.
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