The IRS is hoping a free tax preparation program will take the headache out of tax season for many Mississippians.

" /> Many Mississippians Can File Taxes for Free | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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Many Mississippians Can File Taxes for Free

By Daniel Cherry | Published 27 Jan 2012 06:10pm | comments

Tax season is here again and the IRS is helping Mississippians get the most out of their tax return this year. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how low to moderate income residents qualify for assistance filing taxes...best of all, it's totally free.

For many, filing taxes can be one of the biggest headaches of the year, but it can also be a big payoff for some Mississippians. Certified tax consultants are volunteering with an IRS program to take the sting out of tax season by offering free filing assistance. At the Jackson Medical Mall on Friday, Amanda Welch has waited most of the morning, but she says the peace of mind is worth the wait.

"They help people because there are a lot of people that cannot perform or go to the library and understand all of the different terms (from) these programs that are available...you can't understand it. I've gone through it in the years past, but the taxes change from year to year."

Mississippians who earn less than 50 thousand dollars per year qualify for the free filing service. It's called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Nanette Battle is the manager in Mississippi. She says there are several ways to file federal taxes for free, but state taxes often come with about a 50 dollar charge.

"The focus is really designed for the taxpayers to get the taxes prepared free and not pay for that service. We want them to take the refund and the money that they would pay for a paid-preparer and use that money for a rainy day."

So after you get that refund what do you do with it? Mandy Scott with the Capital Area United Way says they've teamed up with several money management agencies to offer advice.

"Splurge with a third of it. Go ahead and buy that TV or whatever you think you may want for your family. Save for a rainy day with a third, and then invest a third of it into your future. That could be paying off a debt or going to school or things that your family might need to get ahead."

To find the closest free filing location call 211 anywhere in the state.

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