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Free last-minute tax help available

VITA, AARP volunteers help low, moderate income taxpayers

With Tuesday's tax deadline looming, groups that offer free tax assistance are prepared for procrastinators.

VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assitance, and AARP Tax-Aide are operating dozens of sites around the city, assisting low to moderate income citizens.

"For folks who've not filed yet, we want to make sure they know there is a place they can go for free," said Richard Keith with the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services which works with VITA.

Families and individuals who earned $55,000 or less last year are eligible.  Many of the 23 sites will be open during the weekend, and all will be open through Tuesday. 

For information on locations, varying hours and what documents to bring: www.vitasa.org or call 211.

Volunteers  with AARP Tax-Aide program will man 13 sites to help low and moderate income taxpayers.  While it is open to all ages, priority is given to people age  60 and older. That assistance is also free.  For more information such as locations and appointments visit www.aarp.org/taxaide.

While tax season is stressful enough, the last-minute time crunch can be hectic, leading to more errors.

The most common mistakes, according to the IRS are simple math errors  and not signing a mail-in return.

Those mistakes can be avoided by using e-file at www.IRS.gov.   The sites has built-in autocorrect to help avoid math mistakes which can delay refunds.  E-file is available to everyone.

For people whose adjusted gross income was $57,000 or less last year, Freefile is available at www.irs.gov.

There, taxpayers can access brand-name tax preparation software for free.

For taxpayers who are not going to make the Tuesday deadline, the other option is filing form 4868 to apply for an extension.  That will buy six more months to get the taxes filed.