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Free Tax Help for Low-Income Filipinos in Las Vegas

Asian Journal, Dymphna Calica-La Putt Posted: Mar 23, 2010

LAS VEGAS--Filipinos in Las Vegas who earned less than $49,000 last year may be able to have tax professionals prepare and file their 2009 taxes for free, the Asian Journal reports. At the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site at Seafood City, tax professionals offer tax preparation services without charging the typical professional fee that reach as high as $200.

"Over 80 percent of those we have helped are Filipinos, and they are very grateful," site coordinator Cynthia Deriquito said in a telephone interview. She added that the site also welcomes any individual who needs help in filing their tax return as long as they earned less than the amount set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this year. Married couples who are filing jointly need to have a combined income less than the said amount.

VITA is a program designed by the IRS and first implemented 37 years ago to assist low to moderate-income families. Sites, which are usually located in community centers, also target people with disabilities as well as non-English speaking individuals. The VITA site at Seafood City is the only one sponsored by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).

NaFFAA is a non-partisan, non-profit national affiliation of more than five hundred Filipino-American institutions, with a core mission is of empowering Filipinos in the US. The VITA site at Seafood City is one of their projects. It is the second year that the organization sponsored a VITA site at this location.

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