Taxpayer rights and responsibilities
Jan. 17: E-filing is OK, Free File opens and estimated tax payments are due

Tax volunteer efforts and MLK Day 2012

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has come to mean more than just a break from work.

Since the establishment in 1984 of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in conjunction with the federal MLK holiday, this January day is commemorated by many as a day of personal action in Dr. King's memory.

The Corporation for National and Community Service characterizes MLK Day as a day on, not a day off.

MLK Day of Service banner

To that end, the Corporation, a federal agency that coordinates the volunteer efforts of more than five million Americans through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America and United We Serve, offers guidance on ways to serve on MLK Day and beyond.

Tax volunteers: Since it's tax season, I also want to mention the IRS' Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program.

VITA is just one of the many ways taxpayers can find free help in filling out and filing their taxes.

VITA's program offers free tax preparation and filing assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals; this year that's generally $50,000 or less.

Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country.

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing.

To find a VITA site near your, call 1-800-906-9887.

If you qualify for VITA or know someone who does, be sure to take advantage of the program in your area this year.

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freelance writers

i don't wanna talk about tax it's killing me!

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