Free tax help offered in Valdosta - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Free tax help offered in Valdosta

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - As if paying taxes isn't pricey enough, just getting them filed can be a costly endeavor.

In Valdosta, AARP is offering free tax assistance for senior citizens and families with low-incomes.  Lynn Nelson, AARP Local Coordinator explains,"They just don't have the money to go out and spend a couple hundred dollars to do taxes, and as you know, you can spend several hundred dollars getting a tax return done."

Every Thursday from now until April 9th, volunteer tax aides will be at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Bemis Road from 9 AM until 4:30.  No appointments are necessary.

Although the tax returns are free, the service is still exceptional.  Each volunteer underwent a rigorous certification program.  "They know what they're doing," says Thomas Whiddon, a senior citizen who is utilizing AARP's free assistance for the second year in a row.  "These people are all retired, but they keep up with everything and they know exactly what's going on."

This year, volunteers say helping the public is more meaningful than ever before. "With the economy like it is, you need all the help you an get," says Jennifer Nelson, an AARP volunteer.

Many people wonder whether they qualify for the free service.  Lynn Nelson explains, "Basically, low-income would be probably less than $50,000. Most of our low-income people are much lower than that--Mostly, it's less than $20,000 dollars of income."

However, volunteers say they won't turn anyone away.  "You can still come," Nelson says.  "You may just have to wait until the people that the program's designed for have their services taken care of."

Senior citizens also have the option of getting tax help at the Lowndes County Senior Center on Tuesdays between 9 and 4:30. The senior center does require appointments.

These free tax assistance programs makes April 15th a little less daunting. 

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