Special to the
Opelika Observer

Goodwill is preparing to help the community during tax season by offering free tax preparation services through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), an IRS-sponsored tax program.
For 10 years, Goodwill has provided free tax prep services for the community through a partnership with the IRS. Through that partnership, Goodwill recruits and trains volunteers to prepare current year tax returns, prior year tax returns and amendments for households that earn less than $56,000 annually. Goodwill began filing tax returns Jan. 21 and will run through the end of tax season on April 15. Current year tax returns will be prepared during tax season, while prior year tax returns and amendments will be completed by appointment after April 15.
Goodwill is also offering a new way to get your taxes done for free this tax season as they implement a more convenient way for individuals to come get their taxes done. With a new drop-off service, taxpayers visit one of the available tax prep locations and scan their tax documents to be prepared.
Their taxes will then be prepared within one to two weeks, and once completed, the taxpayer will return to their original tax prep location to pick up a hard copy of their return and sign the consent to e-file. Returns are then processed in 10 to 15 business days. With this new service, taxpayers will be able to save time and continue on with their daily schedule without having to wait and meet with a tax preparer.
Goodwill is offering their free tax prep services at four locations this tax season. Traditional walk-in
services and drop-off services will be available at the Midtown Career Center in Columbus off of Macon Road. Drop-off services will also be available at the Goodwill career centers in Opelika, Phenix City and Thomas Crossroads (Newnan).
Individuals interested in stopping by Goodwill for free tax prep should bring the following:
• Social security cards for yourself and all dependents
• All income documents
• All tax documents
• Photo ID
• Health insurance for 1095 A/B/C
• Form 1098
• Childcare expenses
• 2018 tax returns
• Bank account information
Individuals who are interested in Goodwill’s free tax prep services can visit www.goodwillsr.org/vita or contact their nearest Goodwill career center for more information.
About Goodwill Southern Rivers:
Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers (GoodwillSR) is one of 157 independent, community-based Goodwill nonprofits across the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Columbus, Georgia, GoodwillSR serves 50 counties throughout East Alabama and West Georgia. We provide employment readiness training, computer access, educational assistance, skills workshops and more to spur job placement and economic stability in the communities they serve. They can provide these and other programs thanks to the continued donations of giving patrons. They use the revenue generated
in GoodwillSR stores to fund the majority of their community services. For more information about Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, visit www.goodwillsr.org.