Catholic Charities offers free tax help for families making less than $50,000

IMG_6245-300Catholic Charities offers free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to families making less than $50,000 a year. The program is part of Empower-U, which helps those in need break the cycle of poverty.

IRS-trained volunteers steer families and individuals through their taxes and help them get the maximum tax return. The Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled might all come into play.

Earlier this month, Catholic Charities had helped 68 families and individuals receive nearly $186,000 in tax returns, according to Laura Toussaint-Newkirk of Catholic Charities. Even if there isn’t a return, individuals facing challenging economic times benefit from not having to pay more than $100 for help with a tax return. “It’s really free,” she said, referring to some other tax services that only offer free assistance with the 1040 EZ.

“People leave pretty happy from our site,” said Melissa Dunmore, of Catholic Charities, noting that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps families get ahead. Volunteers go through 24-hours of IRS training.

And if someone does get a lot of money back, Catholic Charities shows them how to spend that money wisely and better their life — not just their television or stereo. Catholic Charities offers free programs to help individuals learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

“Financial enterpreneurship helps them learn how to use credit appropriately,” Toussaint-Newkirk said. “We always need volunteers.”

What to bring:

  • Social Security cards or IRS ITIN cards or letters for all household members
  • Picture ID for tax payer and spouse
  • Proof of all income, including W-2 and 1099
  • Name, Address, and tax ID# of 2012 childcare provider(s) and amount paid
  • Account and routing numbers direct deposit
  • Copy of last year’s tax return (if available)
  • If filing jointly, both adults must be present to sign the return

Where to bring it (in the greater Phoenix area and Yavapi County):

Catholic Charities Community ServicesPhoenix

1825 W. Northern Ave., Phoenix 85021

Feb. 6 – April 6, 2013

Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

 

Native American Connections – Phoenix

4520 N. Central Ave., Phoenix  85012

Every other Saturday starting Feb 2 – April 13,   9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

 

Care 1st Avondale Resource and Housing Center – Avondale

328 W. Western Ave., Avondale 85323

Feb. 5 – April 6, 2013

Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Avondale City Hall – Avondale

1465 W. Civic Center Dr., Avondale 85323

Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – one day only

 

Dysart Community Center – El Mirage

14414 N. El Mirage Rd., El Mirage 85335

Feb. 2 – April 23, 2013

Mondays, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Catholic Charities Community ServicesPrescott

434 W. Gurley St., Prescott 86301

Feb. 6 – April 13, 2013 – Closed March 30

Wednesdays, 5-8 p.m.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Yavapai CollegePrescott

1100 E. Sheldon, Bldg. 3 Room 204, Prescott 86301

Feb. 8 – April 12, 2013 – Closed March 29

Fridays, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

 

Catholic Charities Community Services – Prescott Valley

3044 Tani Rd., Prescott Valley 85314

Feb. 7 – April 13, 2013 – Closed Feb. 16 and March 16 & 30

Thursdays, 5-8 p.m.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

Catholic Charities Community Services – Cottonwood

736  N. Main St., Cottonwood 86326

Feb. 6 – April 13 – Closed March 30

Wednesdays, 5-8 p.m.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

J.D. Long-Garcia is the former editor of The Catholic Sun. He joined the staff in 2004. J.D., a lay Dominican, studied journalism and psychology at Arizona State University, philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, and theology at the Graduate Theological Union. He's taught classes at the Kino Institute, worked as an outreach intern at All Saints Catholic Newman Center, led a deanery confirmation program in Berkeley, Calif., and served as a catechist for children of various ages. He was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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