MCAEOC assisting seniors with taxes

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission is offering free tax help to seniors.

IRS certified volunteers at the MCAEOC will assist taxpayers in electronically filing tax forms until the April 17 deadline.

For the past two years senior citizen Linda Ray has taken advantage of the free tax preparation service offered by the MCAEOC. "When I was a young lady and working I paid over $100 to get my taxes done," she said.

Commission human resources specialist Gloria Boyd said the program is open to anyone with an income of $50,000 or less, but the majority of the clients the center serves are senior citizens. "We probably serve approximately 75 percent, I'd say, are senior citizens."

Boyd said EOC started the program three years ago because they wanted to offer a safe and convenient alternative to their clients during tax time. "The residents of the County, they were spending a great deal of money paying for tax services. They were spending a great deal of money on rapid refund programs and such."

About 60 percent of tax payers will use a tax professional to prepare their taxes in 2012, according to the IRS web site. With tax preparer fraud high on the IRS list of tax season scams this year, Boyd said seniors in Mississippi County need trained professionals to file their taxes.

"We are qualified, trained tax preparers. We have very good relationship with an employee at the IRS office in Little Rock, so she comes here she trains us. If we have questions while we are completing someone's taxes, she will actually guide us, walk us through it on the telephone," Boyd said.

In addition to quick service and a secure filing, Ray said she ended up going home with a little more than peace of mind.

"I was very satisfied, and didn't realize I could get as much filing here and not paying out anything."

Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission

Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Central Office
1400 North Division
P.O. Box 1289
Blytheville, AR 72316

Click here to visit the MCAEOC web site.

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