IRS approves Florida Rural Legal Services to help low-income families file taxes for free

Reporter: Therese O'Shea
Published: Updated:
Tax documents. Photo via WINK News.
Tax documents. WINK News photo.

To make sure everyone is getting the money they’re owed from the IRS, filers who need help the most are getting the assistance through these tough times.

With Vita and other tax preparers closed, the IRS just approved Florida Rural Legal Services to provide valet tax preparation through October for low-income and people who speak English as a second language.

They’re offering help filing 2019 tax returns and with the IRS “Where’s my payment” portal.

To qualify for free help, you have to be within 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Tax expert and attorney Shanthy Bala said that even though the deadline to file tax returns is also extended, it’s important to get your return filed as soon as possible in order to get your stimulus payment if you qualify.

“Our understanding from the IRS is that paper returns can take months to process, stimulus checks can take up to five months, and the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file soon as soon as possible so we can get payments into their hands as quickly as possible,” said Bala, tax clinic director at Florida Rural Legal Services.

Shanthy expects a lot of people will take advantage of this free help, so to make the whole process go faster, have these documents on hand:

– A copy of your social security card
– Your state-issued ID
– Proof of any income you earned for 2019

Then take a photo and text or scan those documents securely, or send them by mail depending on your arrangement with the tax clinic. They’re also willing to take your paperwork through no-contact drop-off at their office with a prior appointment. Just give them a call to get the ball rolling.

For the phone number to contact Florida Rural Legal Services and for more information, visit the webpage here.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.