Free Tax Preparation Service Available through VITA


January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Extension Service reminds area residents that free tax preparation services will be available in southwest Iowa for low and moderate income families as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.  For more information, or to make an appointment, call the Cass County Extension Office in Atlantic at 712-243-1132, any time after January 18th.   Other tax sites will also be available in Logan, Harlan, Malvern, Red Oak, Clarinda and Shenandoah.

Services will be provided by IRS trained and certified local volunteers who utilize the Tax Wise software to complete returns.  Only Basic Federal, Iowa and nearby state returns will be processed.  Most returns will be electronically filed and to speed up the refund process participants are encouraged to have a savings or bank account, although it is not required.  Taxpayers can have refunds deposited into more than one account and also purchase Series I US Savings Bonds.

The program is open to Iowa residents in Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Rural Pottawattamie, Cass, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont, and Page Counties.  Participants should have low to moderate income below 200% of poverty.  For example, yearly income should be less than $37,060 for a family of 3, less than $44,700 for a family of 4, less than $52,340 for a family of 5, etc.

In rural southwest Iowa the VITA program is a joint effort of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Iowan’s for Social and Economic Development.  The program is financial supported by the Internal Revenue Service and the Iowa Department of Human Services.  For more information about the program contact Mary Beth Kaufman, ISU Extension Program Specialist and VITA Coordinator at 712-755-3104.