HSA offers free tax preparation assistance for qualified households

VENTURA, Calif. – Tax season is here and, this year, the County of Ventura Human Services Agency is hosting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) at their centers in Simi Valley, Oxnard and Ventura, where tax filers with earnings up to $54,000 can receive free tax preparation assistance. These sites are among ten located across the county where IRS -trained and certified volunteers are available by appointment to prepare and file taxes on behalf of individuals and families.

Appointments are required and can be made by calling 2-1-1 anytime before April 15, although appointments tend to fill up quickly.

In addition to completing and filing taxes, A key goal of VITA is to assist eligible taxpayers to take advantage of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the child tax credit and the newer state EITC which benefits very low-income households in Ventura County. Taxpayers can visit www.calEITC4me.org/know-it/ to determine their eligibility for the state and federal tax credits and estimate their potential refund.

For computer-savvy individuals who prefer to file their own income tax returns, the United Way is again hosting www.myfreetaxes.com, a free, easy-to-use program which allows taxpayers who earned $64,000 or less to file their taxes for free online.

The VITA program is made available through the Financial Empowerment Partnership, a coalition that includes the United Way, County of Ventura Human Services Agency, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation and the IRS.

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