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College offers tax help

By Laurie D. Willis
Livingstone College News Service
Are you struggling to complete your 2010 income tax returns?
Have you started on your returns but decided itís just too much of a hassle?
Would you jump at the chance to have someone complete your returns for free?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be interested in a free income tax return service being offered in the Hilliard Room of the Hood Building at Livingstone College.
Sponsored by VITA, or the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, the free service is sanctioned by the Internal Revenue Service and is being offered until Saturday, April 16.
Hours of operation are from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. People may schedule an appointment or simply walk in during those hours.
Returns will be completed by student accounting majors who have been trained by IRS employees and received appropriate certifications.
Although the service is free, it is being offered only to people who earned $49,000 or less in 2010, said Darron Ponds, a senior accounting major at Livingstone College who is also the Site Coordinator for the VITA program at Livingstone College.
Officials hope elderly and low-income people, the disabled and college and high school students, in particular, will take advantage of the free service.
ěMany people struggle with completing their taxes each year,î Ponds said. ěWhatís even worse, many people who truly cannot afford to pay someone to complete their returns end up paying quite a bit of money for that service, especially if theyíre trying to get their refund checks quickly.
ěThe beauty of the VITA program is we complete returns for free for those who qualify, those who earned less than $49,000, and instead of spending $100 or more to pay for the service, that extra money can be used to assist with their family needs,î Ponds continued. ěWe truly hope people in Rowan and surrounding counties will take advantage of this free service.î
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Vicki R. Gray at 704-216-6222.

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