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Lamar University volunteers provide free tax preparation
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
Football fans are eagerly awaiting Super Bowl Sunday, but many Southeast Texans were thrilled for Super Tax Saturday. Today at the Elmo Willard Library in Beaumont, volunteers filed federal income tax returns free of charge for people who earn 52-thousand dollars, or less, each year.
Larry Phillips and his wife are happy they can get help filing their federal income taxes for free. They came to Super Tax Day last year and qualified for tax credits.
"Last year we were able to catch up on some of our bills, help out family a little bit," said Phillips.
Phillips says it feels good to help his family, and he hopes to spend this year's tax credits the same way.
"And help when help is needed. We got quite a few grandchildren and children so they always need help," said Phillips.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is part of Lamar University's community outreach.
"It's our second year doing Super Tax Day in conjunction with the Super Bowl," said the Director of Community Outreach at Lamar University, Elton Payne, "but as far as doing income taxes, we've been participating in the volunteer income tax assistance program for about five years now."
Lamar University partners with Entergy.
"It's really a good cause and it brings back money to the community through the earned income tax credits," said Beverly Williams with Entergy. "It brings back money into the community to help out our economy."
"Folks who are considered low to moderate income, we're helping them save money on tax preparation," said Payne, "which sometimes can add up to 600 or 1,000 dollars to pay a paid preparer."
People at the Elmo Willard Library say Super Tax Day is a blessing.
"I think it's God sent," said Diana Roberts, who came to have her federal income tax returns filed. "The volunteers are amazing, they're friendly."
"I think it's a real service to the Beaumont area," said Larry Letterman, who came with his wife. "I think they should be highly respected for what they're doing."
"Thank you, we appreciate it very much," said Phillips. "God bless you."
Lamar University and Entergy will offer the same services every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday through April 15th. Below is a list of locations:
Elmo Willard Library, 3570 East Lucas, Beaumont
Theodore Johns Library, 4255 Fannett Road, Beaumont
Catholic Charities, 2780 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont
Jackson Community Center, 520 Decature Avenue, Suite 107, Orange
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 3730 Farm Road 160 North, Raywood