Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Remember to file taxes before April 15
In a week, Americans will be lining up outside the post office to mail out their tax returns for 2013. Every year, we must gather our financial information and pay a percentage of our wages to the government or face fines and other penalties.
Some people choose to tackle this on their own using forms or software. Others choose to take their taxes to a professional accountant. However, accountants charge a fee for their services, and some people are not able to afford an extra expense, especially if they owe the government hundreds or thousands of dollars. Thankfully, Victoria residents have access to several free services to help them prepare their tax returns before the April 15 deadline.
These services are available at different locations across the community and are offered by different groups. One of these is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program sponsored by the Community Action Committee and the Internal Revenue Service. Residents with a total household income of less than $52,000 can bring their tax information for free assistance filing either electronically or with paper. The program is hosted in the Victoria College Continuing Education building from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and is run by volunteers who received training from the IRS.
Another group offering free help in Victoria is AARP. Help is available at the Senior Citizens Center, 603 E. Murray St., for low- to middle-income taxpayers, but there is special emphasis given to residents who are 60 years old or older. This service is available at 8 a.m. on Friday and Monday. Similar assistance will also be available at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Carl and Mary Welhausen Library in Yoakum.
These are some services that will still be available as the deadline for filing taxes approaches. We applaud these groups and every group that helps residents correctly calculate and file their tax returns. We're fairly certain it's accurate to say that no one likes having to give their hard-earned money to the government. We are glad to know there are people who are willing to help make this time a little less painful for those in need of help.
As the deadline draws nearer, we encourage everyone to make sure their taxes are in order. Even if you need to file an extension, you still need to pay on time or face a fine.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.