Free Tax Help: Tax Deadline Nears

April 11, 2008 8:36:43 PM PDT
The deadline to file your income tax return is only a few days away but many people still have lots of questions. Several agencies are coming to the rescue and they're doing it for free.The Central California Legal Services office in Downtown Fresno has been extremely busy with tax filers looking to settle money matters with Uncle Sam.

Manuel Romero, Central Ca Legal Services: "Possibly because of the economics people can't afford to pay somebody to do their taxes."

The office offers free tax help to anyone who earns less than 50-thousand a year.

"We see a little bit of everything. We get farm worker community and we have seen, because of the stimulus a lot of seniors."

Seniors who are normally not required to file an income tax return have a big incentive this year the stimulus rebate check.

But not all will qualify.

Seniors who receive social security supplement or SSI do not qualify for the rebate. Those receiving at least 3-thousand dollars in Social Security Disability, or SSA do qualify.

The DeLeon's had procrastinated doing their tax return because they couldn't afford it.

Nicole DeLeon, Tax Filer: "She was telling us that they've been open for four years if we had known that we would have came here it's a big help."

A big help to 15-hundred people who've used the free service so far this year, compared to only 500 last year an indication of the country's slow economy.

"This was your only income, correct?"

Enrique DeLeon was laid off 5 months ago and now only works part time.

Enrique DeLeon: "I was working quite a bit of hours, but they cut us down from 8 to 6 now 5." "Yeah the gas prices ain't helping much either."

They just found out they earned 1-thousand dollars too many to qualify for the earned income tax credit, their consolation? That stimulus rebate check.

"Right now we have a lot of bills." "I have to use that. It's not something I can store or save for something else. No rainy day, the rainy day is right now."

Central California Legal Services is open Saturday with free tax help, from 8:30 to 4:00 p.m. and Monday from 8:30 to 8:00 p.m.


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