WEST JEFFERSON —During this past tax season, IRS-certified volunteers helped file a total of 741 Ashe County tax returns free through a federal program called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

VITA provides free state and federal tax assistance to households making $54,000 per year or less, individuals with disabilities and those with limited English language skills.

Between January and April, Ashe County’s two VITA sites filed a total of 741 income tax returns. The VITA site at Ashe County Public Library filed 414 returns, while 284 returns were filed at Ashe Services for the Aging. The remaining returns include paper returns, returns for last year and those submitted through MyFreeTaxes, a free online self-preparation program sponsored by the IRS.

Through VITA volunteers’ efforts, $630,808 was returned to the community in tax refunds, including $182,901 in Earned Income Credits.

For anyone who would like to receive free tax preparation next year, look for information in January 2019 about how to make an appointment with the VITA program. Spots are limited—all available appointments were filled this year.

With more volunteers, a larger number of Ashe County residents can be helped through this program. All volunteers receive training and support from the IRS. If interested, contact Laura McPherson at (336) 846-2041 ext. 243, or lmcpherson@arlibrary.org for more information.

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