Volunteers Offer Free Tax Assistance at Houma Library
Compiled by The Weekly Staff
It’s that time of year again. The sound of numbers crunching can be heard in the offices of tax firms, accountants—and in the library.
Catholic Charities volunteers will return to the Terrebonne Parish Main Library to assist locals in preparing and filing income tax through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
VITA services are offered by volunteers who have been trained and certified by the IRS, and are free to those earning less than $48,000 per year.
Refunds are typically deposited into bank accounts through direct deposit in less than 10 days. Paper checks arrive in about 6-8 weeks. For those who do not have a bank account but prefer to receive their refund via direct deposit, volunteers can assist these individuals in receiving a debit card that provides this service.
VITA services also offer information about tax credits that individuals may qualify for, such as an Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or Disabled.
EITC helps filers keep more of what they earned. When EITC exceeds what’s owed, a refund is given to those who claim and qualify for the credit.
CTC can be worth up to $1,000 depending upon income. CED requires filers to be age 65 or older, or permanently and totally disabled; their income and nontaxable Social Security and other nontaxable pension benefits must also be below specified amounts.
This year, Louisiana is also offering tax credits for homeowner’s insurance paid in 2011. Educational expenses, such as supplies, uniforms and tuition, for elementary, middle and high school students can result in a state tax reduction as well.
While VITA volunteers can fill out income and state tax forms, they cannot assist individuals who were self-employed or intend to file married filing separately. They are also unable to file previous years.
VITA volunteers will be at the Terrebonne Parish Main Library, 151 Library Drive, Houma, on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. through April 17. They will not be at the library on Feb. 21 nor March 31.
Visit http://bit.ly/vitainfo for a complete list of items needed to complete your tax forms. If you’d like more information about the program, call Jennifer Gaudet at 985-876-0490.