January 2, 2014

Washington, PA — Community Action Southwest (CAS) will offer free, basic, online income tax filing assistance to qualified working households in Washington & Greene Counties who made less than $50,000 in 2013.

Through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, CAS assisted a total of 603 households in Washington & Greene Counties to file their income taxes last year, and $599,492 was refunded to taxpayers.

CAS operates its VITA Program in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service and through funding from both the United Way of Washington County and the Greene County United Way. Additionally, the majority of volunteers who assist the taxpayers to file their taxes are students from Washington & Jefferson College and Waynesburg University.

Volunteers are trained to assist taxpayers to receive the appropriate tax credits for which they eligible including the Earned Income Tax Credit, a federally funded tax credit for low-income working individuals and families.

VITA sites will be open February 5, 2014 through April 9, 2014 in both counties. Appointments are available each week on Wednesdays in Washington and Waynesburg from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. and on Fridays in Washington from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Appointments are required at both locations. New to the program this year, taxpayers must call 2-1-1 to find out if they qualify for the program and make their appointment. Representatives at 2-1-1 are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When taxpayers arrive for their scheduled appointments, they will need to bring the following documentation with them: valid photo identification, a social security card for every person on the tax return and all 2013 income documents. If the taxpayer would like to have their refund directly deposited into a bank account, they must bring their account information in the form of an official document from the bank with their routing and account numbers on it, such as a check.

This year, CAS’ program will not be able to assist senior citizens who rely on social security and retirement pensions to complete and file their income taxes as they can be served through a number of Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites across the two-county area.

VITA is part of the agency’s Community Action WORKS initiative designed to serve its clients in a comprehensive fashion. Addressing adult education, employability, skills, housing and asset development, while creating opportunities and providing support for economic independence is the framework in which client success is realized.