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Phoenix to offer free tax-filing services for certain incomes

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

PHOENIX — The deadline to file taxes is about three months away, but the city of Phoenix said this is a good time to start.

The city is attempting to lower the burden of tax filing by offering free preparation services to any resident who earns less than $54,000 per year.

Briselda Rodriguez-Huff with the Phoenix Department of Human Services said volunteers trained by the IRS are doing the returns.

Rodriguez-Huff said the volunteers don’t need to have backgrounds in accounting because, after a minimum of 24 hours of training, the volunteers become certified IRS tax preparers.

The tax returns are generally completed during the tax payers’ appointments with the volunteers.

“We have a software that IRS provides for us to complete the returns.  It’s all done electronically and submitted while they’re here,” Rodriguez-Huff said.

Places like houses of worship, banks, and schools are offering space for the free tax prep work.

“We have 18 sites this year.  They’re open during the day, on weekdays; they’re open evenings and Saturdays,” she said.

This is the thirteenth year Phoenix is offering the free service.

For information about locations and times, visit phoenix.gov/eitc. Hours and days of operation vary for different locations.

Taxpayers will have a few extra days this year to file.  The tax deadline in 2016 is Apr. 18, because Washington D.C. is celebrating Emancipation Day on Apr. 15.

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