Do you qualify for free tax help? 70 percent of Virginians do

Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm

It is tax time, and for some, filing taxes is an expensive and complicated proposition. However, Virginians who earned $57,000 or less in 2012, can get free help for filing both state and federal tax returns. Virginia is one of 22 states – plus the District of Columbia – to offer a state Free File program.

Carolyn Spohrer, deputy director of Virginia Community Action Partnership, said Free File is a valuable resource, and it’s easy to take advantage of.

“Using free software programs provided through Free File that allows eligible taxpayers to prepare and file their taxes easily, safely and for free, on-line,” she said, “making sure they get all the credits and deductions they deserve.”

Taxpayers can file with on-line assistance through Free File, by visiting www.vafreefile.org, or for assistance face-to-face, visit a community organization in several locations around the state that serves as an IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance Center, she said.

One of the biggest and often overlooked credits is the Earned Income Tax Credit. According to the IRS, about 25 percent of the people who are eligible do not claim it.

“Last year in Virginia, according to the IRS, the average taxpayer who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit received a credit of approximately $2,100,” Spohrer said. “So, it’s very valuable and we want to make sure that people eligible for it, claim it.”

More information is available on the Virginia Department of Taxation website, www.tax.virginia.gov.

The Virginia Community Action Partnership is a statewide association of 32 member agencies.

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