Library volunteers assist with 250 tax returns

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Tax preparer A.B. Wheeler helps a client Tuesday during the last day of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at the Boonville Library. Tax Day is May 17.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is wrapping up at area libraries, as the extended tax filing deadline of May 17 draws near. This year, area programs in Boonville, Yadkinville and East Bend reported approximately 250 tax returns prepared free of charge for low-income filers.

“We did see new people this year, mainly because of the stimulus,” said East Bend VITA site coordinator Carolyn Hinshaw. “People who had not had to file came by in order to get their stimulus handled.”

Every slot offered through the East Bend program was filled this year, Hinshaw said. Her site assisted approximately 40 filers.

That is the case across all of the VITA sites, where new appointments are no longer being scheduled due to full rosters.

In Yadkinville, the library operated a virtual tax assistance service, where filers were assisted remotely.

“Taxpayers picked up and dropped off their intake packets, quality review was completed via telephone and taxpayers were scheduled with an appointment time to return to the library to sign and pick up their completed returns with our VITA coordinator,” said Christy Ellington, Branch Manager of the Yadkin County Public Library in Yadkinville, where 77 returns were completed.

For locations that offered in-person return preparation, social distancing went smoothly and clients compliantly wore masks.

“Our trained IRS Volunteers have done excellent adapting to COVID restrictions,” said Angie Walker, Branch Librarian at the Boonville Community Public Library. “They have completed over 130 returns and have a full schedule.”

Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.

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