FORT WAYNE – The Financial Stability Partnership on Friday announced a free tax preparation program for qualifying families, individuals and people with disabilities.
From today through April 13, individuals or families earning less than $49,000 can get free help with their taxes at Community Action of Northeast Indiana, 227 E. Washington Blvd.
The partnership is also offering free transportation to people with disabilities who would like free tax preparation at the League of the Blind and Disabled.
Anyone with a disability needing help should call 211 to arrange for transportation.
United Way spokeswoman Mary Tyndall said the free service is the best option for qualifying low-income or moderate-income individuals who want help with their taxes.
Theres a lot of misinformation out there, she said. This is the safest and best way to make sure youre getting the best return.
The partnership will ensure qualifying residents receive the earned income tax credit, which can put as much as $5,000 back in some families bank accounts, Tyndall said.
As much as $6 million in tax credits go unclaimed in Allen County annually, according to the partnership.
In 2010, 4,977 local residents received free tax assistance through the program. A total of $2.1 million in refunds was returned to the community – up $400,000 from the previous year.
The partnership, formed by the United Way of Allen County, is a mix of social service organizations, government groups and businesses that want to ensure people get the best tax preparation they deserve, according to Tyndall.
Tax preparation is available at the Community Action of Northeast Indiana from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
Residents can also go to St. Marys Catholic Church, 1101 Lafayette St., from noon to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Residents can also call the Euell A. Wilson Center at 456-2917 and make an appointment for assistance in filing their tax return.
Active military and National Guard personnel can receive help at all sites by appointment by calling 424-3505.
There is quite a bit of confusion about whether to file taxes right now, said Jean Joley, executive director of the Volunteer Center, another of the tax preparation partners.
The changes only apply to individuals and families who itemize deductions, and most people we serve do not itemize. However, we want to encourage everyone to come in now and prepare all the paperwork.