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Free Tax Help On-Line and On Site – All over VA

February 6, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. - Tax season is here, and there is no shortage of free help to make it a little less taxing for millions of Virginians.

From online assistance to fully staffed locations around the state, there are more options than ever, according to Carolyn Spohrer, deputy director of the Virginia Community Action Partnership. The process can be confusing, she says, and many people don't realize what they can deduct or know if they qualify for credits.

"We have 28 coalitions across the commonwealth that are providing free tax-preparation services, and encouraging folks to claim all the credits to which they are entitled, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit."

Last tax season, Spohrer says, the coalitions were able to assist more than 21,000 people who collectively claimed more than $30 million in refunds, including about $10 million in The Earned Income Tax Credit, which she says is a lot of money coming back into local communities.

"What's also important is that these folks who are claiming all these credits are not paying to have their tax returns prepared, thus keeping the value of the credits - and folks are keeping 100 percent of their refunds."

Spohrer advises those interested to make sure they have all their W-2 forms, receipts and proper identification including a Social Security card when they meet with a volunteer.

Taxpayers can meet one-on-one with a volunteer who is certified through the Internal Revenue Service, Spohrer says, or use a variety of online software programs where they work on their own with volunteers standing by if they need them. Options this year include a new app for iPhones and Androids.

More information is online at

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA