Newberry Observer

Free tax preparation offered

NEWBERRY — From now until April 16, The Cooperative Ministry, in partnership with the Newberry County Literacy Council, will be offering free tax preparations through their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

The program offers free tax preparation services to taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $54,000 or less. IRS-certified volunteers will provide free income tax return preparation to qualified individuals in the community. Taxpayers will also learn more about tax credits, which they may qualify for such as Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

Individuals will need to bring their I.D./driver’s license as well as their social security card and other tax documents they have. Site coordinator Initra Williams said they will also do prior year returns, so if someone failed to file their taxes the prior year they can go back to 2014 to be prepared.

“This comes through the Cooperative Ministry in Columbia and the United Way. We also do drop offs for those who are unable to stay and wait, they can drop them off and we can prepare it and give them a call when it’s completed,” Williams said.

One volunteer that will be helping prepare taxes for individuals is Joan Boyd, who decided after retiring from the military she wanted to give back to the community.

“I’m retired from the military and I was looking for something as a way to give back, and this was just one way,” she said.

Boyd said that she hopes to continue volunteering and giving back to her community in the future.

Those who need assistance preparing their taxes for the 2018 season can have their taxes prepared for free at the Newberry Literacy Council, 1208 Main Street Monday-Thursday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. For questions or to set up an appointment, call 803-276-8086.

VITA also offers the following ways for an individual to use their tax returns:

• Start a savings account for emergencies.

• Set money aside to cover regular monthly expenses.

• Fix or replace your car.

• Pay down existing debt.

• Repair or weatherize your home.

• Save towards buying a home.

• Invest in your professional development.

• Open a retirement account.

• Save for college.

• Give to others.

From left to right: Barbara Chapman, Newberry County Literacy Council executive director, volunteer Joan Boyd and Initra Williams, site coordinator.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_Tax1.jpgFrom left to right: Barbara Chapman, Newberry County Literacy Council executive director, volunteer Joan Boyd and Initra Williams, site coordinator. Kelly Duncan | The Newberry Observer

By Kelly Duncan

kduncan@newberryobserver.com

Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.