A little-known nationwide program provides in-person, free tax filing for singles and families making less than $52,000 a year.
Volunteers working with the program VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) which is offered through the IRS have been offering their services for more than 40 years, said Mary Eure, a Virginia-based VITA volunteer recruiter and trainer.
There are some 350 VITA volunteers ready and waiting to prepare free tax returns for those who need their services, she added.
According to Census data, there may be as many as 75,000 households in Fairfax County that qualify, but many of them do not take advantage of the cost-free service, Eure said.
VITA volunteers in Fairfax County prepared 5,200 free returns in 2013.
"The volunteers said, 'Please send us more clients' ... they want to help more people," she said. "Everybody thinks Fairfax is a rich county—and it is—but there are many households who struggle to make end's meet."
People who can benefit from the program do not take advantage of the service because they don't know about it. Those who do know and who qualify may believe it is a subpar tax preparation service or, they believe there's a catch.
VITA workers are highly-qualified and each return is double checked, Eure said.
"I'm very confident in their quality of work," she said.
Many free tax preparation locations in Reston, Alexandria, Annandale and Woodbridge opened on Jan. 25. Many more sites will open to customers on Feb. 1.
Get a full list locations, addresses and hours in Northern Virginia
here at this link or at
nvacash.org under locations.
These Fairfax County sites will open Saturday, Feb 1:
Kingstowne Library, 6500 Landsdowne Center, Alexandria
Open from 10 to 3 p.m. each Saturday until April 12.
Northern Virginia Community College-Alexandria Campus, 3001 N. Beauregard St, Alexandria
Open every Saturday in February and March 1, 22 and 29
Services are by appointment only. Call 703-845-6478
Enterprise Development Group, 901 West Highland St. in Arlington
Open until April 12 on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 1 p.m.
Chantilly Library, 9000 Stringfellow Road, Chantilly
Open until April 12 on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 to 12:30 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson Library, 7415 Arlington Blvd.
Open until April 12 on Saturdays from 10 to 12 p.m.
Neighborhood Resource Center, 1086 Elden St., Herndon
Open until April 12 on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 to 12 p.m.
Richard Byrd Library, 7200 Commerce St., Springfield
Open until April 12 on Saturdays from 10 to 12:30 p.m.