The North Texas Area United Way officially opens its free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance location in Wichita Falls.
To qualify for this free tax service you must make less than $62,000.
Genevieve Anderson, Vita Program Coordinator, said this program was founded because of on the Earned Income Tax Credit and has helped people save more than $464,587 in tax preparation fees.
The VITA team members train 28 to 40 hours, and take a number of test to become certified.
“This year I believe it was a 35 question test that you had to go through and actually prepare returns to get those answers,” said Anderson.
Last year the Vita Tax Center was able to get more than $2,000,000 in refunds for those who filed with the center.
Besides the E.I.T.C there are many credits tax filers are not aware they qualify for.
She adds, with the new health care penalty some are paying for fines they are exempt from.
“We are trying to screen those and make sure people are no longer penalized because they fall into one of the windows where they got an exception to that,” said Anderson.
There are a number of exceptions including income amounts below the filing threshold, coverage gap less than two months, if you faced foreclosure or eviction and for domestic violence victims.
To find out if you are exempt Anderson said to visit healthcare.gov and see if you qualify. If you do, you can avoid the nearly $700 penalty fee.
Anderson adds some of these exceptions were not caught on some income tax returns last year.
Be sure to bring hard copies of all your tax documents including social security cards.