An average of 55 percent of households across Northwest Louisiana are struggling to make ends meet. In response, United Way of Northwest Louisiana, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, promotes the annual free tax preparation options available to the public. These programs, sponsored in part by Capital One, help relieve the financial burden of tax preparation fees for thousands of local households.
Now through April, nine local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites will be open to the public. To qualify for free tax filing through the VITA program, individuals must earn less than $58,000. Volunteer tax preparers are IRS certified with extensive hours of training. They are trained to do simple returns with W-2 and 1099 forms (no itemized or business taxes).
“VITA is a simple solution to save money on a service that could cost hundreds of dollars,” said UWNWLA Vice President of Financial Stability, Rashida Dawson. “We encourage residents to take advantage of this free resource and keep more of their hard-earned money. The money saved by taking advantage of the VITA program could help create asset-building opportunities for working families such as establishing a sustainable savings.” During the 2021 tax season, 4,322 returns were completed, and taxpayers saved $1,188,550 in preparation fees. In total, these free tax preparation programs issued $3,521,376 of federal refunds to taxpayers.
VITA locations include churches, community centers, independent living facilities, and more. These sites are available in Bossier City, Coushatta, Minden, and Shreveport. There are designated sites for AARP members, active military, and a Spanish-speaking interpreter is available upon request.
If qualifying residents prefer to file their own state and federal taxes, MyFreeTaxes.com offers free filing software online. United Way has partnered with TaxSlayer, which powers MyFreeTaxes.com, to help people easily and accurately file their state and federal taxes online. MyFreeTaxes.com is a safe, easy, and free way to file for taxpayers. This software is available across the United States.
The following locations will operate as a VITA site during the 2022 tax season. Masks are required at all locations, and some will require temperature checks. All sites are by appointment only, so please call ahead for hours of operation and to set up an appointment:
2022 VITA LOCATIONS
Now through April
Caddo Community Action Agency – David Raines
1625 David Raines Road, Shreveport, LA 71107
Caddo Community Action Agency – St. Vincent
4055 St. Vincent Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71108
Caddo Community Action Agency – Lakeside
1729 Ford Street, Shreveport, LA 71101
Creighton Hill – Great St. Paul Baptist Church
510 High Street, Minden, LA 71055
520 Olive Street, Shreveport, LA 71104
Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church – Sadie’s Arms, Inc.
5340 Jewella Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71109
New Horizons Independent Living Center
1701 North Market, Shreveport, LA 71107
Southern Hills Recreation Center – AARP
1002 W. Bert Kouns Ind. Loop Shreveport, LA 71118
Barksdale Air Force Base – ACTIVE MILITARY
2nd Bomb Wing Tax Center
Barksdale AFB, LA 71110
For the sites listed below, YOU prepare your federal & state return. Gross income must be under $73,000. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment. Computer, printer, Wi-Fi, & tax coach are provided free of charge.
Red River Council on Aging
1825 Front Street, Coushatta, LA 71019
Baptist Bible Fellowship
8900 Kingston Road, Shreveport, LA 71118