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It’s tax time

Tax prep options are available for seniors, low income individuals

The United Way of Greater Fort Dodge and Iowa Central Community College team up each year to offer free tax return preparation for low income families and seniors.

The program, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, offers free tax preparation provided by certified volunteers, including Iowa Central accounting students.

VITA has had a vital role in the Fort Dodge community since 2007, when the United Way and Iowa Central partnered to offer their services.

“We save taxpayers anywhere from $45 to $300 on tax preparer fees, depending on how difficult their taxes are,” program coordinator Jess Marten previously told The Messenger.

To be eligible for the free tax preparation, income limits are $25,000 for singles with no children; $60,000 for singles with children; and $60,000 married and filing jointly.

In 2014, the VITA program saved local taxpayers $675,000 in tax refunds and credits.

The refund dollars return to the community, Martens said, benefiting Fort Dodge and especially its low-income families.

“Generally, our program will bring back to the community between $400,000 and $500,000 in refunds,” she said. “Most of that money gets spent here in this community, by the people of this community.”

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