Knox County CAC offers free tax assistance to East Tennesseans

Knox County CAC offers free tax assistance to East Tennesseans

Posted:
The work is all done by volunteers who have been IRS trained and certified. The work is all done by volunteers who have been IRS trained and certified.
"We save people that money," said coordinator Terry Reed. "We get them their money just as quickly as if they go to one of the paid preparers and it allows the money to stay in the community." "We save people that money," said coordinator Terry Reed. "We get them their money just as quickly as if they go to one of the paid preparers and it allows the money to stay in the community."

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - As April 15 draws near, it's likely the chairs lining the atrium of the LT Ross building in Knoxville will be full as people take advantage of the Community Action Center's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

"We do the taxes for free," said VITA Assistant Site Coordinator Terry Reed. "We do the e-filing for free. There is no cost or charge whatsoever." 

The work is all done by volunteers who have been IRS trained and certified.

"They come from all walks of life," said Reed. "I've got former CPAs that have retired. I've got university professors. I have lawyers."

"I thought it was an opportunity to give back on a one-on-one basis with people in the community and it's turned out that way," said volunteer Dennis O'Callaghan.  "I really enjoy doing it and they're really appreciative of what we do for them."

The VITA program saves taxpayers millions of dollars each year. According to the National Tax Coalition, the average cost for tax prep is $250.

"We save people that money," said Reed. "We get them their money just as quickly as if they go to one of the paid preparers and it allows the money to stay in the community."

The program is open to those making $50,000 or less a year. All you have to do is bring the proper documents and show up during normal business hours.

Those making more aren't completely left out.

"We can do over $50,000," said Reed. "You have to bring a social security card, a picture ID, and social security card for everybody who is going to be on the tax return, and if you're married you need to bring your spouse."

The program is first come first serve. While it's usually a fairly quick process, they encourage you to come with plenty of time, especially as tax day draws near. 

The services are provided Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They say the evening hours are the busiest.

They plan to open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help with demand beginning this weekend.

For more information just head to the CAC website. You can also e-file for free at home by visiting the IRS website.

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