DANVILLE - Danville Area Community College staff and students are again volunteering to help low- and middle-income families in Vermilion County complete their income tax forms for free.
Lyle Hicks, instructor at DACC, said according to the Internal Revenue Service more than 7,000 families in Vermilion qualify for this free service.
Hicks said any family with a total annual household income less than $50,000 qualifies for the free service.
IRS officials contacted local United Way officials more than a year ago to get the program started locally. DACC volunteered and Hicks spearheaded it.
He said the IRS goal last year was to serve 100, but the program served 225 families. Of those, 186 received more than $160,000 in income credit collectively.
"That's money that had not been claimed before that," he said.
Hicks is expanding the number of locations the free service will be offered this year and again has recruited a corps of volunteers from the student body at DACC and from the community. He said he can still use volunteers who can work as greeters at the tax preparation locations or as tax preparers. He said volunteers do not need any formal training, but will have to complete tax preparation testing through the IRS. He said volunteers will be ready to handle basic, intermediate, advanced and military tax returns.
He said clients can get their refund within 7 to 10 days.
The program operates by appointment only, and all appointments are being handled through Hicks' office at 443-8559. Leave a message if no one answers, he said, and someone will return the call.
The program begins next week at the selected locations, which include sites in Georgetown and Hoopeston and two in Danville — at Laura Lee Fellowship House, 212 E. Williams St. and DACC, 2000 E. Main St.. All the sites have the same weekday hours from 4:30 to 8 p.m. but differ on the days they are open. All sites are open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. The volunteers will be in Georgetown on Mondays and Wednesdays, DACC on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Hoopeston on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Laura Lee on Thursdays.
People need to bring photo identification, Social Security cards, all tax papers, including W-2 forms, 1099 forms and any medical records and prior year tax returns if possible.