An average of 42 percent of households across northwest Louisiana are struggling to make ends meet. A couple programs operated by United Way of Northwest Louisiana in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, will help to relieve the financial burden of tax preparation fees for thousands of local households. These partners have announced the 2018 area locations for free tax preparation. Beginning Feb. 1, ten Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites will be open to the public.
To qualify for free tax filing through the VITA program, taxpayers must earn less than $54,000. Volunteer tax preparers are IRS certified with extensive training. They are trained to do simple returns with W-2 and 1099 forms (no itemized or business taxes). In 2017 VITA filings resulted in $8.4 million in refunds to local residents.
This year, sites cater to different communities and demographics. VITA sites are available in Minden, Springhill, Natchitoches as well as the Shreveport-Bossier City area. There are designated sites for AARP members, active military and a Spanish speaking interpreter is available upon request.
“We encourage residents to take advantage of this free resource and keep more of their hard earned money,” said United Way NWLA’s Financial Stability Program Director, Rashida Dawson. “The money saved by taking advantage of the VITA program could help create asset building opportunities for working families such as establishing a sustainable savings.”
If residents prefer filing their own state and federal taxes, MyFreeTaxes.com offers free filing software online. For nearly ten years, United Way has partnered with H&R Block, who powers MyFreeTaxes.com to help people easily and accurately file their state and federal taxes online. MyFreeTaxes.com is a safe, easy and free way to file for taxpayers earning $66,000 or less. This software is available in all 50 states and the District of Colombia. This partnership has helped nearly a million people file their returns, bringing more than $1 billion in refunds back to local communities.
The following locations will operate as a VITA site during the 2018 tax season. Please call your preferred site for hours of operation and to schedule an appointment:
Caddo Community Action Agency
David Raines 1625 David Raines Blvd, Shreveport, LA 71107
Caddo Community Action Agency
4055 St. Vincent Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71108
Carter Federal Credit Union
203 South Main Street, Ste. B
Springhill, LA 71075
City of Natchitoches
536 Culbertson Lane, Natchitoches, LA 71457
318-352-9774 ext. 22
Highland Center Ministries
520 Olive Street, Shreveport, LA 71104
Greater Saint Paul Baptist Church – Creighton Hill
510 High Street, Minden, LA 71055
Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church – Sadies Arms
5340 Jewella Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71109
New Horizons Independent Living Center
1111 Hawn Avenue #A, Shreveport, LA 71107
Southern Hills Recreation Center — AARP
1002 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, Shreveport, LA 71118
Barksdale Air Force Base – ACTIVE MILITARY
2nd Bomb Wing Tax Center Barksdale AFB, LA 71110