Free tax help for eligible Houston-area residents

April 7, 2012 4:39:39 PM PDT
Tax day is just around the corner, and preparing for it is usually easier said than done.

Hundreds of Houstonians received free help Saturday to keep the taxman at bay.

We went to Memorial Assistance Ministries in Spring Branch to find out more.

Paperwork in hand, Kenneth Wayne Forman told us he's too nervous to do his own taxes.

"I haven't done my taxes since the 70s," Forman said. "If you don't do it right, then you'll be getting it back and you'll have to end up paying something."

Neighborhood Tax Centers is offering free tax preparation services at 15 locations around Houston, Stafford, Pasadena and Clear Lake. Families earning up to $70,000 and individuals earning up to $40,000 are eligible.

"Get in as quickly as you can. We make it very easy and it doesn't take long to get you in," Elizabeth Ferrer with Neighborhood Tax Centers said.

Volunteers will even help you file an extension.

"This industry is not regulated so almost anyone can file and claim that they're following IRS procedures, but there's only one correct way to answer the IRS and we make sure that we get you that answer," Ferrer said.

Neighborhood Tax Centers is powered by Neighborhood Centers Inc. -- a Houston-based umbrella nonprofit. The group's goal is to serve 28,000 people this tax season.

"I just want to do the right thing and pay my part, and I want to make sure I do all that without getting audited," Paul Stewart said.

"I trust a professional much better than myself," Jessie Chang said.

Neighborhood Tax Centers offers this free service from until tax day -- April 17. Visit their website for more information or call 211.


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