Free tax prep stretches money for local families

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According to the IRS, only 1.5% of Logan County residents filed their taxes for free last year.  Most paid an average of $260 to have someone help prepare their returns.

We can save you that cost with a pair of FREE United Way services.

Staff working the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program at Community Action Organization expect to complete over 200 returns in person at their Logan County office this season. 

And the new offered by United Way Worldwide gives residents earning less than $62,000 a year an online filing option.

“We’re able to help the clients who really need it the most,” said Sara Boling, a Financial Services Assistant with Community Action Organization.  “They really can’t afford to pay $200 to $300 to have someone prepare their taxes.”

Community Action is operating as a full tax site this year with United Way help, accepting appointments every Tuesday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  Households at or below 150% of the federal poverty level qualify.  The elderly, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers are also prime VITA recipients. 

“It’s free!” said John Scholz of Quincy, a Community Action client referred to VITA for a first-day appointment.  “That’s what I like about it.  And they’re good people.”

“Most senior citizens don’t get much money back,” said Shelley Harmon, Logan County Manager at Community Action Organization.  “But one woman last year received her lump sum and was going to use it to replace a household appliance.  When you have limited income, if you get that refund and don’t have to pay it right back to the person who prepared your taxes, you can use it for something you need.”

For more information about VITA or to make an appointment, please contact Community Action Organization at (937) 404-9203.

Households earning $62,000 or less a year can go to to receive free federal and state tax preparation and filing assistance online. is an easy, fast, secure filing site powered by H&R Block.  The online tool allows eligible taxpayers to self-file for free using a simple step-by-step process that includes free telephone, e-mail, and online chat support from IRS-certified specialists.  Like VITA, helps maximize refunds for eligible families and individuals so they can claim valuable tax credits to help keep more money in their pockets.  

CAPTION:  John Scholz of Quincy speaks with Shelley Harmon, Logan County Manager at Community Action Organization.  Scholz was having his income taxes prepared for free through the VITA program.  Last year, VITA saved local residents $19,836 in tax preparation and refunded an average of $1,672 per client. Appointments for this United Way-funded program for low-income households are being accepted Tuesdays through April 5.