St. Vincent de Paul Society Provides Free Tax Preparation for Low Income Families - Society teams up with AARP and Accounting Aid Society.
Each year, millions of dollars of tax refunds are unclaimed by those who need them most, the poor. This is largely because they don't understand how to complete their income tax returns and can't afford to hire someone to help them.
Enter the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
This year St. Vincent de Paul is teaming up with AARP and Accounting Aid Society to offer free tax preparation for low income families, individuals and senior citizens. The service will be available at the Society's Detroit headquarters, 3000 Gratiot Avenue, and at several Accounting Aid Society offices in Southeast Michigan. In 2010, Accounting Aid Society volunteers provided free tax assistance to over 17,000 low and middle-income taxpayers at 25 tax sites, returning $21.2 million to the economy of southeast Michigan.
"This initiative is an attempt to prevent predatory tax preparers whose fees can exceed $1,000 for doing simple tax returns for the poor and working poor we serve," said William Brazier, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. "These refunds can help struggling families recover the dollars to help them feed their children, stay in their homes and keep the heat and light turned on."
The free tax preparation service will be available at the St. Vincent de Paul office on Gratiot, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., February 1 through April 15. Some 30 volunteers have signed up to assist St Vincent de Paul clients with filing tax forms and basic schedules including various federal and state forms.
Those needing help can contact 313-393-2930 to schedule an appointment at the Gratiot location. Details on other locations and timings for the free service are available at AARP (www.aarp.org/money/taxaide/taxpreparation/ ) and Accounting Aid Society (accountingaidsociety.org/).
"IRS forms are confusing for all of us," said Brazier. "We want to do anything we can to alleviate the suffering. We think helping these people collect refunds that are actually owed to them can go a long way in helping them to get back on their feet."
About St. Vincent de Paul Society: St. Vincent de Paul is a major provider of human and disaster relief services, assisting people in crisis who have been victims of fires or floods, lost their job, or other urgent situations by providing emergency support. The Society works in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Detroit, networking with 2,000 Vincentian volunteers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer, St. Clair and Monroe counties, assisting 30,000 local households annually. SVdP's thrift stores in southeast Michigan support the Society's other charitable operations including emergency food centers, health care, youth summer camps, and social services in the Van Elslander Family Center.
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