Free tax filing service begins taking appointments

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — With tax season around the corner, a program will soon once again offer free filing services to people making under $54,000.

More than a dozen IRS-certified volunteers will be stationed at three locations in the Augusta County area beginning February 1st.

"We have a few folks that are retirees that are looking for something to do. We've got some working professionals that like to give back. We have some students at Mary Baldwin University that get some tax credit for doing taxes," said Paul Vaughan, the Community Investment Manager at the United Way of Greater Augusta.

The program, called Valley VITA, is a sponsored by the Community Action Partnership of Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro (CAPSAW) and operated by the United Way and Mary Baldwin University. Last year, more than 750 people used the service.

Vaughan, who also serves as the coordinator for the program, said the recently-passed federal tax bill will not have much of an impact on 2017 returns.

"Those changes won't take place until next year. The changes for this tax season are very minimal," he said.

Stations will be set up at the following locations:

— Booker T. Washington Center (1114 Johnson St., Staunton)
— Stuarts Draft High School (1028 Augusta Farms Rd., Stuarts Draft)
— United Way of Greater Augusta Office (24 Idlewood Blvd., Fishersville)

Appointments can be made by calling 540-221-1654.