Free tax help available in Central Texas

WACO, Texas (KWTX) It's tax season, and help is right around the corner.

"It's such a blessing to have somewhere to go and have professionals," says Sara Henderson.

She and her husband are taking advantage of AARP's Tax-Aide Program, one of several offerings in Central Texas where you can get your taxes done for free.

On a fixed income after being retired for ten years, Sara and her husband can appreciate getting a certified tax preparer at no cost.

"When you get to be a senior, it's a little hard to come up with the money," she says.

Sites like the one she is using at First Baptist Church of Hewitt are operating until April 16th, a day before the tax deadline.

The program has other locations in Killeen, Temple, and Cooperas Cove.

"It was primarily for seniors, but we've expanded over the years," says a Tax-Aide representative.

"We take just about anyone!"

He is filing paperwork at Neighborhood Works in Waco where they complete about 1800 returns a year.

The demand at the centrally-located site is high, so a sign up sheet is posted at 8 a.m. in the morning.

Then it's first come- first filed.

The service has run for twenty years, and Laurie Anne Tuttle, a regular, says it may take hours to get processed, but it's worth the wait.

She recommends bringing something to read or getting to know others in line.

"Make time in your schedule to do it," she says.

She adds the two hundred dollars she saves on tax prep to her return for a special splurge.

"I usually take a big vacation with it," says Tuttle.

United Way of Central Texas is also offering free tax prep in Bell County.

Sign up on their website, or if you prefer a more hands-on approach, check out myfreetaxes.com.

It's a United Way and H &R Block partnership providing free filing for state and federal returns.

With so many free options available, taxes can be done long before deadline, and cost is no longer a reason to delay.

"It's really nice to get them out of the way," says Henderson as she heads out the door with her husband- and a completed return.

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