East Texas free tax preparation program extends to students

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Goodwill in Lufkin offers free tax preparation for people in Lufkin, Diboll, San Augustine, and Nacogdoches. This year, they announced they will be traveling to the campus of Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, to ensure students are prepared as well.

"It was very comfortable because she was my age, and she's like one of my peers," said student, Demetrick Cook. "For her to know, the things that they do know, within their field, it was very, very helpful."

The site manager at the VITA program in Nacogdoches' Goodwill, Conner Sandford, said that walking people through their taxes isn't the only guidance given.

"We're also providing kind of financial to these families as well," Sandford said. "Instead of going and blowing you're refund on a new car, or something, you can put it away in the bank."

The service is geared towards those with an adjusted gross income of $54,000 or under, along with people in struggling situations.

"Maybe they're a senior and they don't have enough information on how to file online, people who have language barriers," said Lufkin Goodwill's executive director, Erica Cook.

Sharon Allen is a repeat visitor.

"Because I would make a big mistake," Allen said. "I just feel safer."

The IRS-certified tax preparers, like Tina Peavy, are just volunteers wanting to help out.

"He and his wife didn't realize that they have some expenses that actually will reduce the amount of tax that they owe," Peavy said. "He was like oh, I didn't realize that. So, I'm glad that I can help them."

In 2017, Goodwill estimated that they saved people approximately $250,000 in tax preparation fees.

The following are the locations and hours when the VITA program will be offered:

Lufkin Goodwill Offices until April 29th (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays - 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. Tuesdays and Thursdays - 12 P.M. to 7 P.M.)

T.L.L. Temple Library in Diboll (February 16 and 23, March 2, and April 13 from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.)

Crockett Public Library (February 15 and 22, March 1, and April 12 from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.)

Nacogdoches Goodwill (Tuesdays and Thursday - 12 P.M. to 4 P.M. Fridays - 2 P.M. to 6 P.M.)

SFA Nacogdoches, McGee Business Building ( April 9, 9:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.)

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