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United Way to offer local assistance with filing taxes

Saturdays, from Feb.4 through April 22 at the Boyle County Public Library, qualifying individuals in Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties can receive free help filing their taxes.

“This is a real benefit for our community,” said  Stephanie Blevins, director of Heart of Kentucky United Way, which is providing the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program locally with the help of Centre College AmeriCorps VISTA Lidia Galindo.

Galindo is in charge of the program locally, with the help of four volunteers. This is her second year in charge of the local VITA program. All five individuals have gone through an IRS certification to assist people in filing their taxes.

To qualify, a single individual must have no dependents and an income of $35,000 or less a year; a single individual with dependents must have an income of $55,00 or less; and a married couple must have a combined income of $55,000, Blevins said.

Additional individuals may qualify to complete their taxes for free online, through the Heart of Kentucky United Way website.

Participants for the in-person services at the library can sign up for a time slot online, Galindo said, or they can walk in. It takes about an hour to complete the program.

Those participating must bring all their tax information, W2 or 1099 forms, Social Security cards or their tax identification number, a government issued photo ID and a copy of their 2015 tax return.

In 2016, VITA saved an estimated people $275 per return. Galindo said 35 returns were filed through the Boyle County location last year.

Financial stability is one of the ways the Heart of Kentucky United Way seeks to help people in the community, Blevins said, and offering programs such as VITA can do that by helping people have more available funds — funds that would otherwise be spent filing their taxes.

SO YOU KNOW

To learn more about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, visit www.uwbg.org/ckeep or call (866) 353-6354.