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Free local tax help for those earning less than $53,000

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) is a national program that offers people who earned less than $53,000 in 2014 a good way to get their tax returns done for free. James Do, the Northern Virginia Program Coordinator, said the aim of the program is to find as many deductions as possible to help taxpayers get the most money they can in their returns.

Last year, the program got close to $217,000 in tax returns for 160 to 170 Prince William County residents. This doesn’t include the savings residents received by not paying to have their tax returns prepared, according to Do.

Tax experts will be at the Dr. A. J. Ferlazzo Building, at 15741 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge, on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., from now until April 11, to help people with their taxes. “All of our tax preparers have to go to rigorous training for them to be certified before they can help and do tax returns.”

Preparers will also be available at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge campus at 15200 Neabsco Mills Road by appointment in March, Do said.

Do said people should come prepared with their W2s, 1099s or any other relevant tax forms, Social Security cards for themselves and their dependents or a taxpayer identification number for everyone in the family, a photo ID, any relevant bank statements, a voided check for direct deposit, expense documents and proof of health insurance.

The Prince William County Department of Social Services partners with the Northern Virginia Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (CASH) campaign to provide free tax preparation services for low-income working individuals and families through the VITA program, said Lisa Tatum the Department of Social Services Division Chief for Benefits, Employment and Child Care. “As an agency that serves low income families, this partnership serves an important role in helping eligible people access free tax preparation and filing assistance. It is a valuable service that allows families to potentially save money and time.”

For more information on the VITA program, visit or call 703-533-5474.

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