Leaders tout free tax prep program

tax-newDepartment of Taxation Commissioner Craig Burns, House Speaker Bill Howell, Sen. Bryce Reeves, Del. Kathy Byron, Del. Mark Keam, Del. Mark Cole, and others urged eligible Virginia residents to use the Free File program to save money at tax time.

In general, these programs allow taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income of $58,000 or less to use name-brand tax preparation software to prepare and file their federal and state returns online for free. The Free File briefing took place at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

Virginia is one of 22 states plus the District of Columbia that sponsors a State Free File program, allowing eligible residents to easily and accurately complete both their federal and state taxes with trusted name-brand tax preparation software of their choice. Free File empowers taxpayers to claim every single deduction and credit they are entitled to, including the often-missed Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The Virginia Free File program also includes a forms-based solution that enables all taxpayers to enter their state tax data and e-file their state return for free directly with the Virginia Department of Taxation.

Free File is a valuable tool for lower and middle income earners to keep more of their money and claim all the credits and deductions to which they are entitled,” said Carolyn Spohrer, Deputy Director of the Virginia Community Action Partnership, a statewide member association of 31 agencies committed to fighting poverty and building self-sufficiency for families and communities through the commonwealth. “I have seen first-hand how Free File has benefited our communities, and the support shown today by Virginia legislators underscores the importance and value of this program.”

“Filing taxes is a lot simpler than you think, with the help of the tax preparation software products made available through Free File. If you send text messages and email or surf the Internet, chances are you will have no trouble filing your taxes through the Free File program,” said Dave Macklin of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the organization sponsoring today’s event.

Following the briefing, community leaders had the opportunity to participate in a workshop and gain first-hand experience with one of the Free File products.

According to the IRS, 40 million taxpayers have prepared their federal returns through Free File since the program began more than a decade ago.

For more information on Free File, visit www.FreeFile.IRS.gov or www.tax.virginia.gov.

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