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January 21, 2016

Tax Prep on February 13

Volunteers throughout Brazoria County, including some from Alvin Community College staff members, will help taxpayers file their returns for free.

The United Way of Brazoria County will again this year provide assistance to ensure tax forms are filed properly during the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program event on Saturday, February 13.

The event will be at the ACC Science/Health Science Building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for citizens who make less than $54,000 a year.

Several ACC employees will be among the volunteers including Vice President of Financial Services Karl Stager, Director of Fiscal Affairs Deborah Kraft and Assistant Director of Fiscal Affairs Laurel Joseph. Staff members have participated in the program over the past several years.

There are a lot of benefits to getting help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. The service is free and an IRS representative will be on hand to answer questions.

Volunteers said taxpayers often file their returns with some trepidation, hoping that their forms will not result in an audit. One volunteer will help with intake, one will help prepare the return and another will review it before it is filed with the IRS.

All of those with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program also have many years of experience assisting taxpayers with their returns.

“Preparing taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Program has been a great opportunity for me to help people and increase my knowledge of income tax preparation,” Kraft said. “The number of taxpayers that take advantage of this service is increasing every year, and we are adding Alvin Community College as another tax preparation site.

Before they volunteered for the program, the ACC staff members had to undergo training with the IRS.

Kraft and Joseph said they liked the idea of volunteering because it provides a lot of assistance to those who need it and it gives them a chance to brush up on their tax knowledge.

One issue that the taxpayers will face on their returns this year is the new health insurance requirements from the federal government.

“We received training on the Affordable Care Act and an IRS representative will be there to provide assistance,” Kraft said.

Those interested in having their returns filled out with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program should bring a valid photo ID, Social Security cards for all household members, all W-2s, 1099s, proof of health insurance and dates of birth. The tax prep volunteers will be in the Science/Health Science Building in room S-163.

Tax assistance will also be offered on February 5 at the Dish Network offices, 1701 Fairway Drive and on February 20 at the Alvin Family Community Center. Services will be offered on both dates from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers who would like to provide tax preparation assistance can attend a training session on January 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Building A-164.

For more information call the United Way of Brazoria County, 979-849-9402 or 800-971-6677 or visit www.uwbc.org.

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