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Liberty Tax Service helps those who fear filing

Date: 1/19/2010

Jan. 20, 2010.

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

WEST SPRINGFIELD -- Filing taxes can be a nightmare, especially for those who've lost their jobs and fear they owe a sizeable sum.

Those at Liberty Tax Service on Riverdale Road are doing their part to help clients navigate the process by waiving tax preparation fees for certain customers as well as notifying job seekers of new tax breaks.

"Our economy has suffered a staggering loss of jobs causing financial stress among our friends, family and neighbors," Ray Maagero, franchise owner of Liberty Tax Service, said. "This is a service we provide to those facing enough hardship because of job loss and adversity at a time they certainly are focusing on other issues in their lives."

Liberty Tax Service is in its second year of offering "appreciation weeks" for customers throughout tax season. Those who were laid-off or displaced received free tax preparation the week of Jan. 11 and each week in March will feature a new group of customers.

Liberty Tax Service, 900 Riverdale Rd., will continue its customer appreciation weeks for hospital workers the week of March 1; teachers, the week of March 8; police and firefighters during the week of March 15; those in the volunteer and non-profit fields the week of March 22; and military personnel and veterans during the week of March 29.

Rory Casey, office manager at Liberty Tax Service, explained that many people have no idea how to properly file their tax returns and often miss out on incentives.

He noted the Riverdale Road location processes approximately 100 free returns throughout the annual customer appreciation program.

"Our goal is to have 20 percent of our business be fueled by these programs," Casey said. "We have a lot of people who are worried that they'll have a very large tax bill and it's good to show them that especially with this new stimulus credit that they'll probably not have to owe."

Maagero explained that many people are unaware of the most recent tax credits. He noted those who were laid-off in 2009, may exclude up to $2,400 of unemployment benefits and job seekers may see a return on their job-hunting expenses.

Casey said there are also a lot of misconceptions about filing a tax return. He noted the most common untruth is that people believe they can file a return with their last pay stub of the year. "We can't do anything legally until we have a W2," Casey added.

For more information about tax services and customer appreciation weeks, call 739-8299.