Free tax preparation services available in West Michigan

NEW “drop and go” option added to free tax preparation services

MUSKEGON -- Goodwill Industries of West Michigan’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Services for West Michigan (VITA) is gearing up for its new tax season beginning February 1. Since 2006, Goodwill has provided free tax preparation services to low to moderate-income families and individuals, helping them maximize their returns by identifying significant tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

To qualify, individuals must have a household income below $60,000. Schedulers at 2-1-1 will be taking appointments beginning January 22. Appointments for tax services are required and can be scheduled by dialing 2-1-1 or toll free 1-877-211-5253. Appointment coordinators at 2-1-1 will verify eligibility and inform filers about the necessary documents that are required for their tax preparation appointment.

Eligible filers can opt for a full-service one-on-one appointment with an IRS-certified volunteer, or choose self-service with assistance with the free use of computers and software, or they can file from home using the online tax program www.myfreetaxes.com.

New this year is a “drop and go” full-service option. Filers meet with an intake specialist to deliver necessary documents and pick up their completed returns a week later. This eliminates wait time and gives volunteers more flexible work hours. Two Muskegon sites will be offering the “drop and go” option: Tanglewood Park and Sacred Suds. (Appointments through 2-1-1 are still necessary.)

Tax preparation services begin February 1 and are offered through April 15. Appointments are offered at seven sites encompassing Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana counties. Dates and times vary by location and are offered weekday mornings through evenings, and several Saturdays.

For a list of tax site locations and hours, visit www.vitawestmichigan.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Carl Lewis, Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator

(231) 722-7871, ext.1071 clewis@goodwillwm.org

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