Tax season is ramping up, and so are the organized efforts to provide free help with tax filing.
Each year, the Thurston Asset Building Coalition joins with AARP Tax-Aide Foundation to provide free tax preparation services for low- and moderate-income working people. It also works to educate people about the Earned Income Tax Credit, which one out of five eligible workers fails to claim.
Get your tax return prepared and e-filed for free on a first-come, first-served basis at these Thurston County locations:
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▪ Lacey Timberland Library, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays
▪ Lacey Senior Center, noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
▪ The Olympia Center, noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
▪ Panorama Chalet, 1-5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays
▪ Tumwater Timberland Library, 1-5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays
▪ Yelm Adult Community Center, 2-6 p.m. Fridays
In another effort, accounting students will be available at Centralia College to help people complete their 2016 tax returns.
The free service will be available through the tax filing deadline of April 15.
Centralia College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is offered as a service to the community, according to a press release from the college. The accounting students volunteer their time and skills, while gaining experience working in real-world situations.
“For student volunteers who run the VITA program, this opportunity means hands-on practice outside the classroom,” Otto Rabe, accounting professor, said in the release. “Second-year students help complete tax forms under the supervision of third- and fourth-year students, who provide quality control. It’s a powerful learning experience and a great community service. A lot of people are intimidated by income taxes. We’re here to help.”
While the service is open to all, those who require an IRS Schedule C are only eligible if the self-employment income is $25,000 or less, according to the release.
The program will operate 9 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays in the Washington Hall Tax Lab, Room 110, at the college.
To schedule an appointment, call the Tax Lab at 360-623-8864. Drop-ins are welcome.
People will need to bring their W2 forms, two forms of identification, and any supporting documentation, including bank account information if they want to have their tax return directly deposited into their account.