Few things are as scary as the IRS, but free tax preparation help is available this tax season through a group trained by the IRS and the S.C. Department of Revenue.
Volunteers with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program will be available 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays at the Leroy Springs Recreation Complex from Saturday, Feb. 7, through Saturday, Feb. 28.
"It's for persons that need help with their taxes," VITA Program York County Coordinator, Bill Perry said. "It's mostly for low and moderate income folks."
Anyone interested in getting tax help through VITA needs to bring all of the tax forms received for this year, a picture ID and Social Security card, Perry said. Volunteers will help fill out the necessary tax forms with the E-FILE computer filing system. All volunteers are certified by the IRS and have received four days of training with the filing software, Perry said.
Perry has run the program for the last 20 years. He also performed audits with the S.C. Department of Revenue for 39 years until retiring last November.
With all the turmoil in the economy these days, Perry is encouraging everyone to file their taxes this year, even if they don't owe anything.
Young people who are filing their first return claiming themselves, rather than being claimed as a dependent by their parents, may be eligible for federal rebate money - as much as $300, from last year's rebate, Perry said.
"This year, it's called the recovery rebate credit," he said.
Likewise, married couples or single mothers who had a child in 2008 may be able to qualify for a rebate - as much as $300 for the new child under the same program.
Some filers may have a lower tax liability year if they sold any stocks for a loss after the market shed more than 30 percent of its value last fall, Perry said.
VITA volunteers will also be available 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays from Feb. 7 through Feb. 28, at the Galleria Mall in Rock Hill and at the Clover Public Library at 107 Knox St.
Volunteers also plan to set up shop at the Rock Hill City Hall Wellness Center Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., until April 15.