Time is Running out for Free Tax Preparation
March 25, 2004
Volunteers in the East Bay have helped individuals and families collect more than $400,000 in income tax credits but the clock is ticking for residents seeking help with filing.
Contra Costa County's Earn it! Keep it! Save it! campaign is reminding the public that VITA centers (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Centers) will be closing their doors on April 15, less than one month from now. Thirteen VITA centers throughout Contra Costa County are working with individuals and families to gain more than an estimated 4 million dollars in tax credits that were left unclaimed in Contra Costa last year. All low-to-moderate income families and individuals are encouraged to use the services. Even persons who feel they do not owe or didn't make enough to file may still be eligible for tax credit reimbursements. (For locations and hours of operation families should call 1-800-358-8832 or visit cchealth.org.)
"The help I got from the VITA Center was a lifesaver. With my husband being out of work due to injury, the thousands I got back really helped us catch up. In the past years I had been filing myself but the VITA Center volunteers were much more informed than I was. They told me of many credits I hadn't even heard of," said Joy Fryman, a Contra Costa resident who filed taxes at one of the VITA Centers.
According to Mary Foran, Associate Director of Contra Costa Health Services, Earn it! Keep it! Save it! Contra Costa and the VITA Centers are part of the Family Economic Security Partnership. FESP is a public, private and non-profit collaboration designed to increase the income and build the assets of low-income families and individuals in Contra Costa.
Other parts of the Bay Area have also launched similar projects. For more information about those projects visit www.theunitedway.org.
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