Get your taxes done for free

Published 12:44 am Sunday, January 29, 2012

If you made less than $50,000 this year, there’s no need to struggle with your taxes yourself or give up most of your refund to a professional preparer.

Anyone who made less than $50,000 in 2011 is eligible to have their taxes prepared for free through a partnership by the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the STOP Organization.

“Most of the people that come to our sites make well below $50,000,” said Shaun Scott, administrator for Individual Development Accounts programs for the STOP Organization. “They can’t afford to have to pay the astronomical fees that the paid preparers charge them.”

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The program will help people with their taxes on Thursdays through April 12 from 2 to 6 p.m. People should make an appointment and bring their photo identification, Social Security cards for all family members, last year’s 1040 form and all their W-2s for this year.

“It’s important to have programs like ours available to the low-income community,” Scott said. “They really can’t afford to pay those fees, and they really shouldn’t have to when there’s people around that are willing to help them for free.”

Scott said it is important for people to have their taxes prepared in a safe and trustworthy environment like with the SRHA/STOP program. The taxes are filed electronically, so any refund they are entitled to will get to their bank account more quickly.

“We’re just encouraging any citizen in the Hampton Roads area to utilize our service at no cost,” said Phyllis Harrison of the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. “It is our design to help them keep as much money as possible in their pocket. Times are tough.”

To make an appointment or for more information, call 539-2100, ext. 326.