Volunteers helped save thousands for local taxpayers. Patrick County volunteers Al Anderson (seated, center), Debby Conner (left), and Joan Williams (right) helped STEP’s Yvonne Anderson (center, back) assist tax payers in Patrick County.

STEP’s free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offered in Franklin and Patrick counties saved low-income taxpayers in excess of $131,000 in preparation fees for the 2018 tax season.

With the help of volunteers, 528 individual federal tax returns were prepared for residents in Franklin and Patrick counties. According to Yvonne Anderson, STEP’s Tax Assistance Coordinator, the taxpayers received a cumulative federal refund of $661,838 or an average of $1,270 each. Almost 500 state tax returns were prepared with cumulative refunds totaling $110,673.

“Our volunteers are trained to help taxpayers find credits they are eligible for” such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Anderson said. Other credits they may qualify for include the Child Tax Credit and the Education Credit.

Volunteers included students in accounting classes at Ferrum College and several Patrick County residents, who helped STEP staff…

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