Starting Monday and continuing until April 15, area residents can take advantage of free tax preparation by trained local volunteers or a free online site that helps people do their taxes themselves.
Both options will help local residents file their taxes safely and accurately — and receive the full tax benefits due them, say sponsors of the efforts.
The Omaha Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition will oversee five local preparation centers, administered by Family Housing Advisory Services Inc. and funded through United Way of the Midlands and the Walmart Foundation.
The coalition, a program of Family Housing Advisory Services, is made up of organizations and individuals from federal, state and city governments, community social service agencies, businesses, banks, universities and professional associations.
In addition to access to free tax preparation and free federal and state e-file, visitors to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites can take advantage of additional services, including screenings for public benefits and prescription drug savings, and free financial education seminars.
Most Omaha-Council Bluffs area residents who earn $58,000 or less also will have the opportunity to prepare their own taxes using an online program offered through a collaboration of United Way and the Walmart Foundation. The site is www.MyFreeTaxes.com/uwmomaha.
Most of the preparation sites also will have computers set up for those who want to file their own taxes but might like the extra support offered at the sites.
These are the preparation sites:
» Family Housing Advisory Services, 3605 Q St.; Mondays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
» Eastern Nebraska Community Action Program, 2406 Fowler Ave.; Mondays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
» Metropolitan Community College, Fort Omaha campus, 30th and Fort Streets, Building 10, Room 122; Saturday and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
» Goodwill Industries, 4805 N. 72nd St.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
» Latino Center of the Midlands, 4821 S. 24th St.; three Saturdays — Feb. 1, 8 and 15 — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., otherwise, by appointment only (402-733-2720) Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.