Free tax service a popular option for residents

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "This is my third time," says Ruby Bennett.

She's familiar with the tax filing process and is a regular to the Jubilee Community Center in Montgomery--at least, when tax time rolls around.

"I keep coming back because it's been accurate so far and it's free," she adds.

The community center is the site of an IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Center--a place that for years has provided free tax filing for local residents.

The center partnered with the University of Alabama and an organization called Project Impact--giving certified college students the tools to help folks properly file their taxes.

"We have volunteers from Huntingdon College, AUM, and Jones School of Law," says Site Supervisor, Lekisha Gunn.

For the students, 2010 tax season is already in full swing.

"We've been really busy," says Gunn.

She credits the economic crunch for the rush they've seen in the last two weeks.

But she wouldn't have it any other way.

"[Helping] people receive maximum refunds without paying hundreds of dollars to go somewhere else is definitely beneficial.  It really makes me happy at the end of the day."

But not everyone can get the free filing.  The service applies only to households with one or more children making less than $49,000 dollars and those with no children making under $20,000 dollars.

But regardless, Bennett and Gunn say the service is catching on.

"We've had people come back and refer other family members and friends," adds Gunn.

"I've noticed more people than I have before," adds Bennett.

With the service, residents could get their tax return within one to two weeks.  But you won't get anything unless you have proper documentation.

Organizers must see your Social Security Card or a Statement of Benefits from the Social Security Administration for every person you are claiming before they can help you.

To schedule an appointment call 1-888-998-2925.  The service runs through February 28th.

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