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CSET offers free tax prep services

CSET offers free tax prep services

Community Services Employment Training (CSET) is offering free tax preparation services to Tulare County families with a household income under $50,000.  The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will operate now through April 15.

The VITA program prepares tax returns for families with household income of less than $50,000 at no cost to the families.  More than 100 volunteers took a month-long course to become certified by the Internal Revenue Service as tax preparers.  The volunteers are trained to file taxes for the families and help them identify tax credits for which they are eligible.  Common tax credits include the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credits, Child & Dependent Care Credit, Retirement Savings Contribution Credit, and Education Credit.

In 2012, CSET volunteers prepared 2,376 tax returns, which resulted in $3.6 million being returned to Tulare County.

The VITA program is available at three locations in Tulare County.  Residents can visit an office in Orosi, Porterville or Visalia for assistance.  Visalia and Porterville sites are open from 9am-3pm on Saturdays.  The Orosi office is open Tuesdays from 5pm-7pm and Saturdays 9am-3pm.  All tax returns are prepared on a first-come, first-served basis.  Taxpayers that file electronically will receive their return as direct deposit within 5 to 10 business days.

“We are excited to offer VITA to Tulare County families for the eighth year in a row,” stated CSET Executive Director Mary Alice Escarsega-Fechner.  “We look forward to helping families and bringing money back to Tulare County.”

Bank of the West, Community Trust Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Bank of the Sierra and United Way of Fresno County have partnered with CSET to provide these services.

To view the full schedule of times and locations, visit www.cset.org/vita.  Please call our VITA information hotline at (559) 741-4640 for office locations and list of required documents.

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