Free tax preparation services

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA) has locations in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee ready to offer people free tax preparation services.

A trained volunteer will file taxes electronically. VITA asks interested patrons to bring a picture ID, social security card, and all tax forms with them.

For more than 20 years, VITA has helped about 2000 people in Horry County each tax season. Utocqua R. Grossest is one of the VITA coordinators in Horry County.

Grissett says the free service they offer could cost between $300 to $400. Some people may be wary of getting help outside of a professional tax service, but Grissett says every volunteer gets the training they need to do a thorough job.

"Everyone on site has gone through certification through the IRS to prepare the tax returns and do it in IRS fashion. We have a double check system on site and every return is quality reviewed prior to being submitted," explained Grissett.

Grissett says those who plan on using direct deposit to get the refund, should bring bank information too. People don't have to qualify to get the free services, but VITA targets people with annual household incomes $57,000 and below.

The trained volunteers comb through every form and interview every tax payer to find any and all applicable tax credits.

"It depends on different circumstances. Everyone may not qualify for them all, but many do qualify. So we will search and do an interview to determine what credit you qualify for and rightfully get you the money that's owed."

Grisett says they are still looking for more help in the form of trained volunteers. Anyone who is interested can e-mail Grissett to

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