ESR Provides Free Tax Returns

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest anti-poverty program in the US, lifting 9 million people out of poverty. The EITC provides low-income working adults with a tax credit based on their income. On average, a qualified Forsyth County taxpayer receives $1,700 in EITC credit, and the credit can sometimes total more than the amount earned during the year. In addition to benefiting working families, the credit brings money directly into our community.

Forsyth Free Tax is a part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in which qualified volunteers prepare taxes for free for people making $54,000 a year or less. EITC and VITA are vital asset building tools that help low-moderate income people build wealth.

Tax preparers are educated on tax credits and help people receive every tax credit for which they qualify. Returns for the 2015 tax season totaled 4,006 returns done through Forsyth County’s EITC/VITA.

FFT-logoForsyth Free Tax expanded their reach in the past couple years by using a mobile unit called The Point which is equipped with computers and is capable of traveling to different sites in the area. The mobile unit has allowed agencies to expand the reach of these services throughout the community for tax preparation and other purposes, and has been made possible by grant through Wells Fargo. The mobile unit is owned by United Way and housed with Financial Pathways of the Piedmont. This mobile innovation received the National Association of Development Organization Innovation Award in 2013. This year, a mobile unit that was made possible by Wells Fargo and owned by the United Way will provide an alternate method of tax preparation as well.

The Triad EITC/VITA program in Forsyth County alone has helped bring in over over $4 million in tax refunds, half stemming from the EITC last season. The best part is that the tax refunds go directly to the individual. Forsyth Free Tax also offers online tax services at to individuals making less than $62,000 who want to self-prepare their taxes.

Community sites are available throughout Forsyth County to provide free tax preparation services during tax season. These sites offer free tax preparation, Asset Building Counseling, and linkages to asset-building programs such as Experiment in Self-Reliance’s Individual Development Account program, NC Saves, Financial Literacy Counseling, etc.

Certified volunteers are given the opportunity to prepare 1040EZ, 1040A, and many other 1040 returns.

Tax season officially begins on January 19, 2016. Tax sites open on February 1 and will be at the following locations:

Experiment in Self-Reliance (3480 Dominion Street) – (Mondays-Fridays 10 am-3 pm, Saturdays 9 am- 1 pm)
Goodwill Industries (2760 Peters Creek Parkway)- (Tuesdays, Thursdays 4 pm-7:30 pm)
Goodwill Industries (2701 University Parkway) – (Wednesdays, Thursdays 4 pm-8 pm)
King Public Library (101 Pilot View Drive, King, NC) Thursdays 5-8 pm
Malloy-Jordan Center/East Winston Library (1110 East 7th Street) – (Saturdays 10 am-2 pm)
Mi Casa Servicios Hispano-Latino (1705 Link Road) Monday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm
Career Connections and Prosperity Center South (508 Waughtown Street) – (Mondays 9 am -12 pm, Wednesdays 4 pm-8 pm, Fridays 11 am-3 pm, Saturdays 9 am-1 pm)
Winston-Salem Transit Authority (100 W. 5th Street) – (Mondays 1 pm-5 pm, Wednesdays 1 pm-5 pm, Fridays 1 pm-5 pm)
Walnut Cove Senior Center (308 Brooke Street, Walnut Cove, NC) Mondas 1 pm-5 pm)
Winston-Salem Federal Credit Union (711 E Salem Ave) Monday-Thursday 9 am – 4 pm
Winston-Salem Transit Authority (100 West 5th Street) Monday-Tuesday 4 pm – 8 pm, Friday 1 pm – 5 pm

Appointment only sites:

Walkertown Branch Library (2969 Main Street, Walkertown, NC)
Rural Hall Library (7125 Broad Street, Rural Hall, NC)

People are asked to bring a picture ID, Social Security card for themselves and each dependent they are claiming, all W-2s and/or 1099s, employer ID number or SS number of childcare providers, and last year’s tax returns if itemizing. If they want direct deposit of any refund, bring a check or savings account information.