Taxpayers across the Midlands will have access to free income tax preparation assistance, beginning this Saturday, Feb. 1 through the annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program managed by The Cooperative Ministry, in Columbia, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service and United Way of the Midlands. In 2019, area IRS-trained volunteers prepared 8,816 free tax returns, generating $5.6 million in much-needed refunds.

VITA kicks off this Saturday, Feb. 1 with the annual Super Saturday Tax-A-Thon, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Cooperative Ministry, 3821 W. Beltline Blvd., Columbia. After Saturday, all 20 Midlands locations begin opening on Monday, Feb. 3, and will serve the public on varying days and times through Wednesday, April 15. This year, new locations will open at Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church, in Lexington, and at Fort Jackson, in Columbia. A complete list of all sites, as well as each site’s days and times for service, is located online at www.coopmin.org/vita.

VITA is available to taxpayers making $58,000 in 2019. When coming to a site, taxpayers should bring a valid picture ID for each adult on the return; Social Security cards and birth dates for each person on the return; all wage and earning statements, including all tax documents.

For more information, please contact Ed Palekas, director, Financial Sustainability, The Cooperative Ministry. (803) 799-0935 or epalekas@coopmin.org.

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