With tax season beginning in February, many Hancock County residents are looking for ways to get the highest return possible without having to pay a high fee. For the eighth year in a row, United Way of Hancock County is partnering with 50 North (formerly the Senior Center), Findlay-Hancock County Public Library, Millstream Career Center, Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Hancock Hardin Wyandot Putnam Community Action Commission (HHWP CAC) to offer free tax preparation services on various dates at locations throughout the community. The taxes are filed electronically by trained tax counselors and VITA volunteers.
Free tax preparation services are for individuals who made up to $65,000 and families who made up to $96,000 in 2015.
To schedule an appointment at the Findlay-Hancock County Library or Millstream Career Center, callers should dial 2-1-1, or with an out of area cell phone number dial 1-800-650-HELP (4357). To schedule an appointment at 50 North (formerly the Senior Center) call 419-423-8496. Appointments are being taken now for February, March and April.
Callers will be asked a series of questions and will be informed of the items needed at the tax preparation appointment. The appointments will also be scheduled at the location that is most convenient. Walk-ins will also be accepted at the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library on Saturdays until April 15 from 10-3 p.m. and will be served on a first-come first-served basis. To see a list of items needed for tax preparation, visit http://liveunitedhancockcounty.org and click on the “free tax preparation” button.
One of the main goals of the free tax preparation program is to ensure that tax filers find out if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC.) The average Ohio EITC is $2,406, yet many Ohioans eligible for the EITC do not claim it. Those unclaimed EITC funds mean that local communities miss out on millions of dollars that would have otherwise generated economic activity and growth. Also, clients using this free tax preparation service can maximize their return without having to pay a high fee to have their taxes completed.
Individuals interested in being trained to become an OBB volunteer tax counselor should visit http://support.ohiobenefits.org/taxes.html#training for online training. Upon completion of the training, volunteers can contact Pam Zimmerly at the HHWP CAC to be scheduled to volunteer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 419-423-3755 extension 209. Persons who complete the training and have access to a computer can also assist others on their own or through other organizations such as churches or schools. Additionally, trained counselors can assist family and friends.
Taxes can also be filed electronically at http://myfreetaxes.com. The user must sign up for an account. This service is safe, secure and easy. This service is free for individuals who made up to $62,000 in 2015.
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