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Free tax preparation site at Goodwill Saturday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Goodwill Industries (1005 Virginia Ave. W.) will host a free VITA tax preparation site for the sixth year in a row.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax preparation sites are a program of the IRS. United Way of the River Cities, Financial Stability Partnership (FSP) initiative works in partnership with the IRS in this effort.

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that each year West Virginians eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) leave more than 20 million EITC dollars unclaimed.

Last year Goodwill site volunteer tax preparers (one of 8 FSP VITA Sites) helped to bring $34,717 of that $20 million back to the River Cities.

Those dollars could be used to pay down debt, open savings accounts, and improve lives in many ways.

“This program benefits many people within the River Cities,” said Karen Horner, Site Coordinator for Goodwill VITA site and Employment and Training Programs’ Manager for Goodwill Industries. “Last year we served 177 individual taxpayers at the Goodwill site.”

This Saturday, more than 10 volunteers will be on hand to file free income taxes for those who qualify. Persons between the ages of 25 and 65 may qualify for EITC if they made less than $48,279 in 2009.

The EITC can be as much as $5,657. Individuals may qualify for both the EITC and the Child Tax Credit, but they must file for tax credits to receive the money. Eligible filers can claim EITC for three years back.

Families whose household income was less than $49,000 last year are eligible for free tax preparation at all VITA sites.

“The VITA program benefits hard working families in the River Cities area by giving them an opportunity to get their taxes done for free, and get the credits they deserve,” said Monica Donohoe, Coordinator of the Financial Stability Partnership.

For a list of all VITA Site locations, service dates and times, those who qualify can call the VITA Info Hotline at 304-781-1033.