Miller Charmaine

Charmaine's adventures in news writing and editing

Story Idea 9

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Because we are well into tax season, (and with less than a month away from the final due date) I was thinking of doing a story that would be a round-up of free tax service providers in the area. I found a few that will help people of lower incomes:

VITA

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) appeals to UF students trying to build resumes for a base of volunteers who will help prepare tax returns for people of low to moderate incomes, according to its website. An accounting major friend of mine told me that many accounting students participate, but the program also accepts non-accounting students and volunteers.

Source: Ricki McWilliams, rickim@ufl.edu, 352-331-2800

United Way and UF

UF is partnering with United Way in a website that provides free tax preparations for community members making $57,000 (or less) a year, according to Gator Times. The website appears to be user-friendly, but I’d like to gather some opinions on this as opposed to other free online tax services like TurboTax. In-person appointments can also be made.

Source: Jennifer Stojkovic, UWTaxes@unitedwayncfl.org

AARP Tax-Aide Assistance

AARP Tax-Aide helps low- to moderate-income people, and especially those over age 60, with their taxes. The Gainesville Sun has a list of AARP Tax-Aide Assistance site locations in the Gainesville area and a list of documents to bring. They have a pretty comprehensive article, but it was published in early January. I wonder if we could get any opinions of people who have already made use of these services this year. The AARP Tax-Aide program has also been calling for volunteers. This is the volunteer contact:

Judie, 352- 339-1801, gator222@bellsouth.net

I just thought it would be neat to do a little tax round-up. We would need to distinguish it from the Gainesville Sun story, though. I think it would be to our advantage to find sources who may have already used these services. Or maybe we could get a representative that has a broader view of people in the area that have these incomes, namely of $57,000 or less.

Questions: Do they make use of these services? Are they aware of them? How many Gainesville-area residents are in need of the free tax help offered? How do UF student volunteers in these programs benefit or not benefit? What are the general demographics of the people who use the free tax help?

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Written by charmainemiller

March 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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