VITA gives a helping hand with tax prep

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HOUSTON, Tx. - Tax time can be confusing and depending how comfortable you are with all the forms, tables, and rules, a little help can go a long way. But it can cost a pretty penny. But that`s what`s so great about VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.


Manager of the University of St. Thomas VITA site, Lucy Petry says, “Over here it is completely free, 100%.”


On the IRS website it says, if you make $53,000 or less, have a disability, are elderly or struggle with the English language, you qualify for free tax assistance.


“We have IRS certified volunteers, (that) cannot only help you with your taxes, but can also help you with direct deposit and e-filing,” explains Petry.


It`s not a new program, it`s been around for decades, and some of the folks here come back every year.


Billy Galick has been using this service for 20 years now and he says, “You just have to walk in, sign up, and they handle everything very well here.”


3 things to make sure you bring with you are your W2, your identification, and a few old tax returns.


To find a vita site near you, go to, and search your zip code.


In Houston, you can hit up the YMCA on Cavalcade on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or on Fridays at South Texas College of Law from 1p.m. to 7p.m.


The IRS tax filing deadline for 2015 is Wednesday, April 15th, and if you qualify, there`s volunteers out there just waiting to give you a helping hand.