Volunteers ready to help residents with tax forms

PARKERSBURG – Community Resources Inc. is aiding taxpayers who qualify with preparation of their tax forms through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

The service is provided at no charge for those who make $52,000 or less and need help in preparing their tax returns. Several sites are available. At the sites, Internal Revenue Service-certified volunteers provide basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to individuals.

The volunteers can let taxpayers know about special tax credits which they may qualify for such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

There was a line waiting for service on Wednesday at the CRI offices in the senior citizens building, downtown Parkersburg.

Marie Baughman said this was her first time taking advantage of the service.

“I think this is great. I had no idea they offered this. I don’t know what I would have done if they hadn’t been here to help me,” Baughman said.

Ryan Barber, programs director at CRI, along with many other CRI staffers, has been trained in the tax preparation process. Barber was assisting Baughman with her taxes on Wednesday.

Hours at the CRI office VITA site at 914 Market St., Suite 305 are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Wednesday evenings from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Appointments are needed. Walk-in hours are being offered at sites, but there are a lot of people coming in for services.

Jessica Moyers, development manager at CRI, said in order to avoid the lines, it is helpful to make an appointment.

“We have several VITA sites and we assist with other sites as well, like at the Vienna Public Library and we have walk-ins at WesBanco downtown only on Wednesdays,” Moyers said.

The VITA workers say they are seeing a cross-section of residents seeking help.

“There are always a lot of people; we never have a down time during tax time. But we were able to get an early start this year; even though you couldn’t submit the forms until Jan. 31, we were able to get a little head start this year,” she said.

“We’ve been offering this service for many years, but there are still a lot of people that don’t know about it,” Moyers said.

VITA began providing the free tax preparation services on Jan. 21 and the service will be available until April 15.

The VITA program in West Virginia is funded through the Division of Health and Human Resources.