PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The clock is ticking down to the extended deadline to file your state and federal tax returns.  And, if you need help with the paperwork and paying for the professional service, 10 On Your Side may have a solution for you.

“We do free tax preparation service here in southeastern Virginia,” explained Nichole Willis, program monitor for VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. 

Willis works in Hampton, with a small army of tax preparers who may be able to help you file your 2020 tax return.

“100-plus volunteers around southeastern Virginia are certified by IRS every year,” said Willis.
Those volunteers meet with clients at VITA sites, such as Willis’ office in Pinewood Plaza near the Hampton Coliseum.

So, who qualifies for free tax preparation? Willis says many are referred by agencies such as the HRCAP, the Hampton Roads Community Action Program. And, yes, you may have to qualify by income. “We provide services for seniors, for the disabled, for military folks, and limited English proficiency folks,” Willis said.

Because of COVID-19, and the rapidly approaching May 17 deadline to file Federal and State of Virginia tax returns, you are asked to walk into a VITA site, speak with a volunteer or staffer and drop off your documents.

“If you’re accepted, the tax preparer will call you to go over the return. Then they (you) will come back into our intake sites for a short meeting to finalize their return,” explained Willis.

She said her tax preparers and clients are social distancing. “Folks are coming in with their mask and we are having folks come into the office one at a time, on a limited basis.” 

Tax returns must be postmarked no later that May 17, or you risk paying a late penalty.

If you’d like the help of a VITA tax preparer, act now. Willis says appointments are filling up quickly. Contact them at this link, or call 757-343-6537.