Need help with taxes? It’s free if you qualify

United Way of Bartholomew County will offer free income tax assistance to local residents from February to April 15.

Last year’s free income tax assistance served more than 1,000 local residents and collectively saved taxpayers more than $90,000 in tax-preparation fees.

The tax assistance is being offered through two national programs, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and AARP, said Kyle Hendricks, United Way of Bartholomew County spokesman.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program has an income limit of $54,000 and the AARP program is targeted toward older residents, although there is not a defined age limit, Hendricks said.

Requirements to qualify include residing in Bartholomew County, meeting the income limit, the elderly, those with disabilities or those with limited English-speaking skills.

IRS-certified volunteers provide confidential and secure basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Volunteer tax preparers also ensure that families and individuals receive tax credits they qualify for including the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Hendricks encouraged people to check if they qualify for either program as the organization hopes to help as many people as possible.

Multiple sites will be available to receive tax preparation assistance including the Doug Otto United Way Center, Mill Race Center and Sandy Hook United Methodist Church.

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211 of South Central Indiana began accepting reservations this week for tax-preparation assistance. Call 2-1-1 to see if you qualify and to schedule an appointment. Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.