CSET to offer free tax preparation services
Community Services Employment Training is offering free tax preparation services to Tulare County families with a household income under $50,000. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will operate Feb. 2 through April 15.
The VITA program prepares tax returns for families with household income of less than $50,000 at no cost to the families. More than 100 volunteers took a month-long course to become certified by the Internal Revenue Service as tax preparers. The volunteers are trained to file taxes for the families and help them identify tax credits for which they are eligible. Common tax credits include the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credits, Child and Dependent Care Credit, Retirement Savings Contribution Credit and Education Credit.
In 2012, CSET volunteers prepared 2,376 tax returns, which resulted in $3.6 million being returned to Tulare County.
The VITA program is available at three locations in Tulare County. Residents can visit an office in Orosi, Porterville or Visalia for assistance. Visalia and Porterville sites are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The Orosi office is open Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
All tax returns are prepared on a first-come, first-served basis. Taxpayers that file electronically will receive their return as direct deposit within 5 to 10 business days.
“We are excited to offer VITA to Tulare County families for the eighth year in a row,” stated CSET Executive Director Mary Alice Escarsega-Fechner. “We look forward to helping families and bringing money back to Tulare County.”
Bank of the West, Community Trust Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Bank of the Sierra and United Way of Fresno County have joined with CSET to provide these services.
To view the full schedule of times and locations, visit www.cset.org/vita or call the VITA information hotline at 741-4640.