File Your Income Taxes for Free

FEBRUARY 2, 2018 — If you earn a household income of $54,000 or less, you may be eligible to receive free tax preparation assistance to file your federal and state income tax returns.

The Valley Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is offering free tax prep assistance at three locations in the Valley through April 12.

A total of 30 IRS-certified volunteers are positioned at Booker T. Washington Community Center in Staunton, Stuarts Draft High School, and the United Way of Greater Augusta in Fishersville to prepare returns.

See Valley VITA’s flyer for hours of operation at each site and to find out what to bring.

Anna Leavitt, director of Community Action Partnership of Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro (CAPSAW)—a VITA partner—said volunteers filed 50 returns when the program began eight years ago. This year, they expect to file 1,000.

“There’s no gimmick; it is free,” Leavitt said. “It’s a good, quality service, our volunteers are highly trained and supported, and I encourage people to check it out.”

Participants may schedule an appointment or walk in; however, appointments take priority over walk-ins.

There are a few limitations to participation in the program. People with farm income and businesses with payroll are not eligible for VITA assistance.

For those who want to file their own return free of charge, Leavitt suggests www.myfreetaxes.com, a website that provides free tax filing for households that earn up to $66,000.

VITA is funded through a grant from the IRS, the Virginia CASH Campaign and CAPSAW. 

The deadline for filing a 2017 federal income tax return is April 17.  State income tax returns should be filed by May 1. 

Other Tax Preparation Assistance

Free assistance with filing state income tax returns is available to residents of the City of Staunton at the Commissioner of Revenue’s office on the first floor of City Hall. No appointment is necessary, and there are no income requirements. Just bring your federal tax return and your W-2 forms. Get more info.

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