Tax Preparation

Louisville VITA web sites supply free tax prep | Messages

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Tax season starts next week, but some prep positions in Louisville are already starting.

Ten Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) locations will be offered in Louisville this year through the Louisville Asset Building Coalition. And just like last year, the volunteers expect it to be busy.

“It looks like more people used the services last year,” said Eurana Horton, VITA site coordinator at the Portland Promise Center. “Because I’ve been through a lot here and I’m sure Urban League, Americana and everyone else too never been here before but they needed the service.”

The Louisville Asset Building Coalition said VITA offers free tax preparation by trained volunteers to anyone with an annual income of less than $66,000.

Some websites, such as the Louisville Urban League, already accept tax returns. Others, like the Portland Promise Center, aren’t fully open yet but are already accepting appointments.

Horton has been a volunteer for 21 years. She said people who discover the program are grateful.

“You can’t believe it’s free,” Horton said. “And even at the end it’s like, ‘Just say thank you, it’s free.’ It is very I’ve had people cry on me.”

The hundreds of dollars that could potentially be saved by not paying taxes is a huge relief for some families.

“It’s important because it allows families to take the money they would normally pay to get their taxes and use it for emergency expenses, or to save their money or buy things for their family.” , said Earnestine White, director of the Louisville Asset Building Coalition.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique relief efforts, like the child tax credit, that volunteers must process, but Horton said it’s actually not difficult to manage.

“At first I thought it was because of all the different incentives we had to report and the unemployment tax waiver and everything,” Horton said. “But it was really easy.”

New this year is a pilot program called Tax Time Connect. Financial attorneys will be on site at VITA locations and will assist anyone who needs a bank account to set one up.

“Many of our customers don’t have bank accounts or have had trouble accessing accounts. So we hope this program will help remove some of those roadblocks,” said Arnetia Horton, a finance attorney. “They will have support, someone who will be with them every step of the way. And that’s the role I want to play, to be available first-hand to answer the questions that they might be nervous about asking anyone.”

“It’s very important because a lot of low- to middle-income people are losing a lot of credit,” White said. “They’re taking a lot longer to get their tax returns for the money they need, and those are the people who need the money the most.”

Regardless of what you need, the volunteers hope that anyone who can use the services will make use of it.

Appointments for many locations can be made by calling 502-305-0005. To view a list of all site locations, click here.

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