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VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE 

Free Tax Assistance for 2021 Filing Season Including Online Filing Options - Watauga and Ashe Counties

The Volunteer for Income Tax Assistance program provides free income tax preparation and electronic filing for eligible low to moderate-income residents who had a gross income of $58,000 or less in 2021. The programs described below operate in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. The Watauga County Public Library also receives financial support from the Friends of the Library. All locations receive support from the IRS. All volunteers are trained to be certified tax preparers through the IRS. Covid safety protocols will be in place.

Residents are encouraged to file a tax return to claim the tax benefits they earned with the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Millions of workers could overlook and miss out on up to $6,728 extra in their federal income tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and as much as $3,600 per qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit, or CTC. ASU students and their parents may be eligible for education credits. The tax preparers will alert you as to whether you are eligible for any of these credits!

Watauga County Public Library’s service will operate February 4 – April 9  using a drop-off/pick-up model on Fridays 9 am - 4 pm and Saturdays 9 am - 1 pm. There will be no service on Friday, April 16, or Saturday, April 17. Anyone interested in making a tax appointment may call the library at 828-963-3294 and leave a message with your name and telephone number. The library is located at 140 Queen Street, one block up from the Mast General Store in downtown Boone.  https://www.arlibrary.org/watauga

The Accounting Department at Appalachian State University will offer a Free Tax Help Lab from February 1 - April 13 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5 pm to 7 pm. Drop-in assistance, as well as virtual assistance, will be offered in Peacock 4015,  Contact hofmannma@appstate.edu for more information. Students, staff, and faculty may get assistance in filing their own tax returns there.

Generations Ashe at the Ashe County Senior Center, 180 Chattyrob Lane, West Jefferson, will offer assistance using a drop-off/pickup model or face-to-face assistance February 1 – April 7 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 3 pm. To make an appointment, call 336- 246-4347. www.generationsashe.org

Due to the limited availability of VITA tax preparation services this year, we encourage tax filers to consider these online options:

My Free Taxes (myfreetaxes.com) helps anyone file their taxes for free while getting the assistance they need. United Way provides MyFreeTaxes in partnership with the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help filers prepare their tax returns on their own or have their return prepared for them for free. There are no income restrictions.

IRS Free File lets you prepare and file your federal income tax online for free. Choose an IRS Free File option from a partner company, prepare and file your federal tax return on their site, and get an email when they accept your return. IRS Free File Program offers the most commonly filed forms and schedules for taxpayers. https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

If you have questions about tax law, use this web page: https://www.irs.gov/help/tax-law-questions