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'Tacos and Taxes' helps residents file returns

Mar. 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Most people approach tax season with a grimace. Carol Malcolm of Kenova was grinning from ear to ear.

Malcolm took advantage of the "Tacos and Taxes" event that spanned the morning and early afternoon Saturday at Goodwill Industries on Virginia Avenue in Huntington. Food was provided by Qdoba of Barboursville.

"I think this is a great opportunity. To have someone help me fill out a simple tax form is a real help," said Malcolm, who has been utilizing the free tax services for several years.

VITA, which stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, provides income-eligible residents with free tax assistance and preparation. A second program, MyFreeTaxes.com, was also available for those who are more comfortable with tax forms, but need computer access and minimal assistance. Users of that program were also entered into a drawing for an iPod Nano. Both programs are staged in conjunction with the Financial Stability Partnership of the River Cities.

"We do this because we like to help people and offer these free services," said Heather Marrs, site coordinator for VITA. "For many of these individuals, who are only filing to receive the senior tax credits, they would end up spending a couple hundred dollars elsewhere; instead, they can come here and we can do it for free."

Marrs said the taco bar added a light-hearted feel to the event, one she hopes will continue to grow next year and beyond.

"We've had more people this year than last, and we'll probably see about 50 people today since we're approaching the first of April," Marrs said.

Marrs said other opportunities are available for tax assistance before the IRS's April 15 deadline. Additional help sessions are offered every Monday at the Cabell County Public Library, Tuesdays and Thursdays at Marshall University and by appointment at the J.W. Scott Community Center, 1637 8th Ave., Huntington. Goodwill will host another help session on Saturday, April 13. For more information on times, dates and locations, call 304-781-1033.

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.

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