Saving You Money
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Get tax help or DIY?
In Saving You Money, every year you may ask yourself the same question. Should I do my taxes myself or pay an expert? Tonight, the choice is yours, but the cost, believe it or not... is the same. It's free!
Tax preparer says, "Filing married I take it?"
This tax counselor is just like those at the well known tax assistance companies. The only difference is this one doesn't cost a dime.
Margie Daniels, a tax client in Franklin says, "I've been coming here 4 to5 years."
That's because this Franklin single mom has a complicated tax return. She explains, "I enjoy my 4 jobs."
She knows she'd cost herself money if she did it herself. She says, "I work whatever job will get me out to make sure I am there to pick him up from school to make sure I'm there to do his homework get him to swim practice his acting."
The free tax prep is called VITA for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. It's available through United Way across the Midstate.
Steve Guthrie with United Way of Williamson County explains, "Average savings per person who walks in the door is around $200.00. "
Daniels adds, "I have a friend who went to a tax place. They were going to charge him a couple of hundred dollars. Exactly what he was going to get back." The only prerequisite for using the VITA service is you have to make $57 thousand dollars a year or less. Daniels says, "You don't have to be old. Some people think you have to be elderly to come here. laughs."
Guthrie with the United Way says, "You aren't sure if you want to file joint married, jointly or head of household and once our volunteers interview you for a few minutes, they know where to file and even the filing status can affect the amount of money you get back."
So can many other deductions and credits, including the earned income tax credit. Guthrie says, "It is a little complicated, but our volunteers have been trained by the IRS. They know when you come in the door whether you qualify."
Check with the United Way where you live to find the VITA Tax service nearest you. I have a link at Fox17.com under Foxlinks. They take appointments and walk ins. Since this is an IRS sponsored program, that still doesn't guarantee that you won't get audited. and VITA does not make any guarantees about your return.
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