published Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Bradley volunteers offering free income tax preparation

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    Sandra Garcia prepared Frank Mason's federal income tax form Friday at Lee University. Volunteer income tax assistance is available at several locations this month.
    Staff Photo by Randall Higgins

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Volunteers are standing by to help some Bradley County residents file their federal income taxes at no cost.

The Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer free tax help for those who qualify.

The VITA program helps people whose incomes are less than $49,000 and who cannot prepare their own returns.

The help is available on certain days at the Bradley Baptist Association, Bradley Square Mall, Lee University and Cleveland Community Center.

Frank Mason came to Lee University Friday, where Sandra Garcia prepared his return. Mason said he comes to the university every year.

"I used a tax service before, but now that I am retired I come here," Mason said.

So do many others, said Greg Della Franco, assistant professor of accounting at Lee.

"It's kind of like having a regular clientele," Della Franco said.

Last year, Della Franco said, junior and senior students filed 598 tax returns generating over $600,000 in refunds.

Tax returns are filed electronically, meaning quicker refunds.

The Bradley Baptist Association seeks to help people with limited English. The association has volunteers who are fluent in Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian.

WHERE AND WHEN

* Bradley Baptist Association, 2707 N. Ocoee St. By appointment only, 423-310-1152.

* Bradley Square Mall, 200 Paul Huff Parkway. Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointment required.

* Lee University, Walker Memorial-Business Building, Room 107. Times: 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. No appointment required.

* Cleveland Community Center, 1334 Church St. SE. Saturdays 10 a.m. until noon. No appointment required.

Source: Lee University, Bradley Baptist Association.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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