Free federal and state income tax preparation assistance is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) program.
Established by the IRS for assistance to lower income, English as a second language and persons with relatively simple returns, the IRS trains and certifies volunteers to assist in free tax return preparation. This year the VITA/TCE sites will again be at the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Senior Center and at South Central Human Resources Center.
In the past, this free assistance has started during the third week in January. This year the IRS has announced it will not start accepting electronic tax returns until Jan. 30, 2013. The original start date was Jan. 22, but with the late changes to the tax law, that date will not be possible.
As a result, the Lincoln County sites will open with the following schedules starting Jan. 29:
SCHRA, Tuesday, 1-7 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and Senior Center, Monday and Thursday 9 a.m. until 12 noon.
The IRS announcement of a delay in start date brings the possibility of an additional delay. It is hoped this will not happen, but if it does, the Lincoln County VITA/TCE sites still plan to operate on the above schedule to prepare returns. Any returns prepared during the delay time will not be transmitted (e-filed) but held at a secure location until the IRS is ready to receive them.
“For those we have served in the past, we hope this will serve you well now. For those that will be new to this service, we hope you will not be put-off by this situation,” said Mickey Hallum, VITA Lincoln County Site Coordinator.
“Please come let us assist you.”
Anyone who would like to learn to prepare taxes under the VITA/TCE program and become certified by the IRS, or for more information, please call 433-7183, ext 130, or 433-6233.