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Watauga County Public Library Announces Free Tax Assistance Options for 2021 Filing Season

The (VITA) 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 $57,000 or less in 2020. The programs below operate in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. The Watauga and Ashe County Public Library both receive financial support from their Friends groups. 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 $6,660 extra in their federal income tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC and as much as $2,000 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 using a drop off/pick up model from February 12 – April 10 on Fridays from 1 pm – 3 pm and Saturdays from 10 am – 2 pm. There will be no service on Friday, April 2 nor Saturday, April 3, 2021. Anyone interested in making an appointment may call the library at 828-457-4303 and speak with the Adult Services Department. Please leave a message with your name and 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 also runs a Free Tax Help Lab that will run from February 16 through April 14 this year.  We will offer drop-in assistance in Peacock 4015, as well as virtual assistance.  Contact hofmannma@appstate.edu for more information. Students, staff, and faculty may get assistance in filing their own tax returns there.

The Ashe County Public Library, 148 Library Drive, West Jefferson, also offers the (VITA) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program using a drop-off/pickup model. Drop-off appointments are available on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 am – 3 pm. The service runs from January 28 – April 7. To make an appointment, please call 336.846.2056. https://www.arlibrary.org/ashe

Generations Ashe at the Ashe County Senior Center, 180 Chattyrob Lane, West Jefferson, will offer assistance using a drop-off/pickup model on Tuesdays and Thursdays from January 28 – April 13 from 9 am – 4 pm. The service will be available at the Riverview Community Center, Creston on Wednesdays, February 10 and March 17 from 10 am – 2 pm. To make an appointment for either location, call 336- 246-4347. https://asheaging.com/

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