LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's time to start thinking about filing your taxes but with the new affordable health care requirements taking effect last year, you may have more questions this year.
We show you what local programs can help you get the most tax help for the least money – even free!
You've probably received your W2 for the 2014 and now it's time to get your documents together to file your taxes. Fortunately there are numerous resources available to help make the tax process less stressful.
"We can file your taxes for you for free," said Tracy Shannon, Director of Mission Service - Workforce Development at Goodwill in Lufkin.
Goodwill's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps people file their taxes who make $53,000 or less.
"We can provide the same service that you can get at other paid preparers and it can save you literally a couple hundred dollars," Shannon said.
You don't need an appointment to go to your local goodwill office but you do need to bring you ID, social security cards for you and your dependents, W2, and 1099.
"New this year, you have to have health insurance information. Especially if you received your insurance through the marketplace, you will receive what's called a form 1095 a in the mail," Shannon said.
Another free program is the AARP Tax Aide Sarah Oliver has been a volunteer for 33 years. She says most people don't know how to do their taxes and others simply can't afford to have them done.
"It's just a service for the community. It's nationwide," Oliver said.
Oliver and her team expect to complete more than 400 tax returns for low to mid-income East Texans for free.
Over at H&R Block.tax professionals say East Texans can only benefit from having a professional do their taxes.
"It would be really good to have a professional help you get the most of your refund," said Diana Bryan, a tax professional at H&R Block on John Reddit in Lufkin.
"Three out of four people get a refund and the average refund is $2,800 or more but anybody who especially has had a life change should come see us," Bryan said.
The cost for having your taxes prepared at H&R Block varies based on how complicated your life is with the easiest tax prep costing you about $45.
Goodwill Lufkin VITA Program Information:
The Lufkin schedule:
Tuesdays – Jan 27 to April 14 – from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursdays – Jan 29 to April 9 – from Noon to 8 p.m.
Fridays – Jan. 30 to April 10 – from 9 a.m. to Noon
Saturdays – Feb. 7 to April 11 – from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Diboll schedule:
Mondays – Feb 9 to Feb. 23 – from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
April 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Goodwill/PATH information Tyler:
Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. / Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. at 402 West Front Street, Tyler, TX
Find the AARP Tax Aide program near you here
Find you local H&R block here: http://www.hrblock.com/