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Free tax preparation for Horry County residents

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From The United Way of Horry County

United Way of Horry County has been partnering with local agencies and the Internal Revenue Service on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.   The VITA Program offers free tax help for low to moderate income people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers from the community received training to help prepare basic tax returns in our county. 

This program has been impacting our community for eight years.  "This program touched my life eight years ago and I have been volunteering ever since. The impact it makes for each individual/family in Horry County to be able to save more money is truly amazing," states Utocqua Grissett, Horry County VITA Coordinator.

United Way of Horry County, along with three other United Ways in the state, has received a government grant to help support the VITA program in 2011.  This grant is above and beyond the support from the community in the United Way's annual Campaign drive, which is currently at 84% of its $1,275,000 goal to support 43 local agencies this year.  The grant will be used to:

  • Enable VITA programs to extend services to underserved populations and hardest to reach areas, both urban and non-urban
  • Increase the capacity to file returns electronically
  • Heighten quality control and improve the accuracy of returns prepared by the VITA sites
  • Enhance training of volunteers.

The Internal Revenue Service announced it has awarded matching grants to support its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. "These funds will enhance the VITA program and the work of volunteer tax preparers who provide an invaluable service to millions of taxpayers each year," said Richard Byrd, Jr., IRS Wage and Investment Operating Division Commissioner.

The trained volunteers can help with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax credit and Credit for the Elderly or Disabled, promoting financial stability. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, all Horry County sites will offer free electronic filing (e-filing). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster when tax refunds are deposited directly into one's bank account. Site locations are listed below with day and times.  The locations will begin tax filing on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. 

For tax year 2010, individuals and families with an adjusted gross income of $49,000 or lower are eligible for the VITA program. Last year, local volunteers assisted over 1,400 taxpayers filing tax returns in 2010 with the taxpayers receiving over $1.5 million in refunds.  It is estimated that the FREE service offered at the VITA sites saved these Horry County taxpayers over $210,000 (average $150 per person). The increases over the past five years is evident that the community appreciates, trust and depends upon the services being provided through the VITA Program at the various sites throughout the county. 

There are certain items each individual needs to bring to the VITA site to have their tax return prepared:

  • Proof of identification
  • Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration

o    If you do not have a SSN for you or a dependent, you should complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application.  This form should be submitted to the nearest Social Security Administration Office. If you or your dependent is not eligible to get a Social Security Number, you may need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).  

  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year's federal and state returns if available
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number)
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

United Way of Horry County is excited to have this opportunity to expand the VITA program. For more information about the VITA program, please contact the United Way office at 347-5195 or visit their Web site at www.unitedwayhcsc.org.

VITA Locations:

Conway Library

801 Main Street, Conway

Saturdays 10:00am - 2:00pm

January 22nd – April 16th 

Socastee Library

707 Connector, Socastee

Tuesdays 5:00pm – 7:00pm

January 25th – April 12th

Loris Center for Health and Fitness

13207 Casey Street, Loris

Thursdays 4:30 - 7:30pm

January 20th – April 14th    

Chapin Library

400 14th Ave N. Myrtle Beach

Wednesday 4:00pm – 7:00pm

January 19th – April 13th 

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