Free Tax Preparation Assistance for Low-Income Residents
The City of Alexandria is again offering FREE tax preparation assistance to lower-income residents during the 2011 tax season. This service, provided by expert volunteers from Community Tax Aid, Inc., helps taxpayers file accurate IRS and Virginia individual income tax returns and to apply for all applicable credits and deductions, especially the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit.
Tax preparation sessions are scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM on Saturdays, from February 6, and from 6:30 PM on Wednesdays, from February 5, through April 13. Taxpayers will be assisted on a first come / first served basis until each session is filled, depending on the number of volunteers available. Doors open one hour before service begins. Sessions are held in the lobby of the Alexandria Department of Human Services, 2525 Mount Vernon Ave. Spanish-speaking volunteers are available on-site and electronic filing is available to help taxpayers receive their refunds more quickly.
Many low-income working families and individuals are not aware they may be eligible for the EITC or the child tax credit. Because of its substantive effect on a family’s income, the EITC has been called the greatest anti-poverty program in the country. Depending on household composition, the EITC can be worth up to $4,500; however, roughly 25 percent of people eligible for the credit do not claim it.
Taxpayers are eligible for the Tax Preparation Assistance Program if their income is below approximately $25,000 for individuals and below approximately $42,000 for families. Persons requesting the assistance must bring a picture ID, W-2 forms and other income records, and records or receipts for expenses such as child care and/or education. They must also provide social security cards or ITIN letters for all family members and a copy of last year’s tax return, if possible.
Financial counseling sessions will also be available from the Enterprise Development Group. EDG will provide free reports of individuals’ credit ratings and demonstrate how to build financial assets and learn about basic financial information. A counselor will be on hand to discuss how to build, repair and protect personal credit.
Community Tax Aid, Inc. is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization of accountants, lawyers and other professionals providing expert help to taxpayers in Alexandria and at other sites in the metropolitan D.C. area.
For further information about the City of Alexandria’s tax preparation sessions, or to request a reasonable disability accommodation or to receive materials in an alternative format, please contact Alia Fulwood, at 703.746.5845 (703.933.1409 TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the session you wish to attend. The City of Alexandria is committed to complying with the spirit and provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Virginia Human Rights Act.
The Alexandria Department of Human Services building at 2525 Mount Vernon Ave. is a 20-minute walk from the Braddock Road Metrorail Station and is also served by DASH transit #AT 10 and Metrobus # 10A, 101B, 10E or 10P. For DASH schedule information, call 703.370.DASH or visit www.dashbus.com. For Metrobus schedule information, call 202.637.7000 or visit www.wmata.com.
In case of inclement weather, the program will be closed if the Alexandria City Public Schools are closed or if school activities are cancelled, as reported on the ACPS Hotline (703-866-5300) and on radio and TV broadcasts.