SALT LAKE CITY – Starting Feb. 3 Salt Lake City and Utah Tax Help will begin providing low- and middle-income families free instruction on how to do their taxes at two Salt Lake City Library branches, and free tax preparation at https://utahtaxhelp.org/.
“We hope residents will be able to use this program as a resource, and that it will make filing their taxes an easier process this year,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “We know many Utahns are eligible for credits and miss out on the opportunity to claim them. We hope to help people get the most out of filing their taxes.”
A tax professional will work with up to four people at a time during specific service hours at Salt lake City’s Chapman and Day-Riverside library branches. Participants will learn how to use the free e-file program and learn how to avoid scams.
“We’re excited to be able to help make this service available to people who need it, and hopefully the learning will benefit them in their tax preparation for years to come,” said Morgan Lim, Consumer Protection Analyst. “It saves families money, helps guard against fraud, and allows families to keep a greater portion of their tax return.”
Tax Help Utah, which is part of Community Action Partnership of Utah, runs the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program with partners across the state. The group completes more than 19,000 free tax returns per year.
“We offer 100 percent free software for do-it-yourselfers and this year we are taking the free program out to libraries,” said Greg McDonald, State Director for the VITA program. “Thanks to generous donors, an IRS certified teacher will help families complete their taxes.”
This year Tax Help Utah will focus on getting those who are not collecting federal credits to file tax returns.
“60,000 people in Utah were eligible to receive Earned Income Tax credit last year and didn’t file taxes to claim it,” McDonald said. “We hope to capture some of them through this program.”
The tax assistance program will be available through April 14, 2020. For more information on the program and what documents to bring, visit www.slc.gov/taxhelp.
Salt Lake City is one of four mid-size cities to receive a pilot grant from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to create a local consumer protection program. One of the areas of focus identified was a Facilitated Self Assistance program because it helps prevent fraud, is achievable, and assists people who need it most.
For more information on the City’s consumer protection program visit www.slc.gov/consumerprotection.
Service Hours at City Library branches:
577 S 900 W
Salt Lake City
Tuesdays: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
1575 W 1000 N
Salt Lake City
Mondays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.