Depending on how much money you made in 2015, you could be eligible to receive free tax preparation help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

A variety of different facilities offering the services are now open in Acadiana.

If your household income is less that $54,000, you might be eligible for the free tax help through the United Way Of Acadiana VITA sites.

The sites will be operating from today, January 19 through April 18.

Laquinta Fontenot, who has used the free VITA services for several years, says it was very beneficial to her family.  The mother of five says she and her husband were able to put their refund money to good use. "We needed another vehicle, and because of our refund, we were able to put a strong down payment on it".

Many families and individuals, if they meet the criteria of the federal government, will be eligible for more saving trough the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Margaret Trahan, United Way of Acadiana President and CEO says,

 

“For folks who live in poverty or who live each day one crisis away from falling into poverty, accessing the Earned Income Tax Credit and this free service can be life-changing. United Way of Acadiana believes everyone deserves opportunities to have a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income for a family to be financially stable, and good health. VITA services can help put money back in people’s pockets, giving them the opportunity to gain financial stability.”

There are several VITA locations throughout Acadiana where you can get free filing help if you qualify.

Acadia Parish

Assist Agency, 11 North Parkerson, Crowley, LA 70526, 337-788-7550, ext. 138

Iberia Parish

Iberia Parish Library, 445 E. Main St., New Iberia, LA, 70560, 337-364-7024

SMILE/New Iberia, 722 Walton St., New Iberia, LA, 70560, 337-365-8151

Lafayette Parish

Acadiana High School, 315 Rue de Belier, Lafayette, LA 70506, 337-984-2324

SMILE/Lafayette, 501 St. John St., Lafayette, LA 70501, 337-234-3272, ext. 219

Proyecto Hispano de Ayunda la Comunidad, 1006 Surrey St., Lafayette, LA 70501, 337-849-4145

St. Landry Parish

Continuous Links, 8202 Highway 182, Opelousas, LA, 70570, 337-942-3911

The Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives, 1209 Diesi St., Opelousas, LA 70570, 337-943-2410

St. Martin Parish

SMILE/St. Martin, 2097 Terrace Rd., St. Martinville, LA, 70582, 337-394-6013

St. Mary Parish

St. Mary CAA Central Office, 1407 Barrow St., Franklin LA 70538, 337-828-5703

Vermilion Parish

ASSIST Agency, 407 Charity St., Abbeville, LA 70510, 337-898-9554

In addition to the VITA sites, three Super Tax Days will be held at the following locations:

Acadiana High School, Feb. 13, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Northside High School, 301 Dunand St., Lafayette, LA 70501, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

There were some 2.922 federal tax returns that were prepared by volunteers through the VITA program last year. Officials point out that some $30 million of Earned Income Tax Credits go unclaimed in the Acadiana region because people do not know about the refund.