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Help Needed for Free Tax Prep Service

PHOTO:  Helpers needed for free tax preparation assistance in Kentucky.
PHOTO: Helpers needed for free tax preparation assistance in Kentucky.
December 4, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. - It's almost that time - tax time - and an initiative that provides free help with filing returns is looking for help. The program, which assists families making less than $50,000 a year, serves 79 Kentucky counties.

Vickie Johnson is with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, the non-profit association that coordinates the tax-help effort. She says help is really needed, even with April 15 still months away.

"All of those sites are really driven by volunteers, so this couldn't happen without people being willing to give of themselves."

Nearly 500 volunteers worked more than 22,000 hours helping people with last year's taxes.

Johnson says you don't have to be a certified tax preparer to help.

"Volunteers are also needed to greet people at the door, help them organize their documents, and make sure that everything is complete."

She says volunteers will be provided training developed in conjunction with the IRS.

Last year's free tax prep helped more than 11,000 Kentucky families get back nearly $19 million in federal and state refunds.

"We want to make sure that they are saving money by getting their taxes filed for free. We also want to make sure that they are claiming all of the credits that they are eligible for."

In particular, that applies to the Earned Income Tax Credit. The IRS estimates that 15 to 20 percent of the people eligible for that credit do not claim it.

If you want to volunteer you can call the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association at 502-209-5382.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY