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Volunteers ease the stress of tax season
Community center offering free tax prep for qualifying citizens
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Zuhra Doost, left, helps Chymese Watkins with her tax returns at the Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center on Thursday afternoon.

Free tax assistance

Who is eligible: Hall County households earning $49,000 or less

When: Thursdays and Saturdays; call ahead for appointments

Where: County Community Service Center, 430 Prior St. SE, Gainesville

Contact: 770-503-3330

 

The burden of tax season can get a little lighter for Hall County residents eligible for a free income tax preparation program.

Volunteers, trained by the IRS, are available on Thursdays and Saturdays throughout tax season at the Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center. Volunteers also "e-file" the returns from the center.

Karina Costantini, deputy director of the community service center, said the goal for the program is to help clients keep as much money as possible.

Participants are encouraged to bring child care documents, college tuition statements, charitable contribution receipts and other documents that can increase tax refunds.

The free tax preparation is available by appointment for households earning $49,000 or less.

Volunteers from the program, which include city and county officials, professional accountants and Brenau University businesses students, go through an IRS-approved training course before participating.

Lauren Anderson is a senior accounting student at Brenau, who's earning some college credit for volunteering. She said it's fulfilling work to be able help residents.

"It's not as intimidating of a process as I thought it would be," she said.

Phillippa Lewis Moss, director of the community service center, said that if volunteers do have questions, they have a direct line to IRS officials to get answers.

While the tax program does offer multilingual assistance, Moss said there's no dominant demographic group that uses the free service.

 

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