Tax help available in Delta
by Rory Doyle
Feb 25, 2013 | 1998 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Income-eligible individuals and families in Bolivar and Sunflower counties can receive free income tax filing services at multiple sites in the region thanks to a federal program known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

Electronic tax returns will be prepared by IRS-certified VITA volunteers for residents with an annual earned income of $51,000 or less.

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations.

The local service, offered through April 15, is sponsored by Southern Bancorp and Southern Bancorp Community Partners and will be available at branches in Shelby, Drew, Ruleville, Indianola, Greenville, Clarksdale and Helena, Ark.

Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and other opportunities will be available at all locations.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working for Southern Bancorp for over 12 years, both in Arkansas and Mississippi," said Bolivar County resident Neeley Vance, consumer loan officer and VITA site coordinator.

"Participating in the VITA program here at Southern is one of the things I love most about my job," Neely added. "Just knowing that I work for a company that has a mission to aid and improve its communities gives me a great sense of pride.”

Last tax season more than 2,000 taxpayers filed their taxes at Southern Bancorp VITA sites. Those who qualified received a combined total of almost $5 million in refunds and credits.

In Clarksdale and Helena, taxpayers can also learn about programs to can help with home purchase, small business development, credit repair and college financing.

To schedule an appointment at the following VITA sites in Mississippi, call:

Drew — Kerenski Robinson or Kayla Fleming, 662-745-6604; Ruleville — Kayla Fleming, 662-756-4343 (Tuesdays through Thursdays); Shelby — Edna Bland, 662- 398-5115; Indianola — Neeley Vance or Gail Ross, 662-887-9520; Greenville — Ruby Johnson, 662-334-1898, Verne Miller, 662-378-8954 or Brandy Williams, 662-686-6966; and Clarksdale — Shelia Ramsey, Jason Pellum or Charlestien Harris, 662-624-5776.

Appointments and walk-ins are welcome, depending on location.

To find more VITA sites in Mississippi and Arkansas, visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Find-a-Location-for-Free-Tax-Prep.

Southern Bancorp's participation in VITA correlates with its goal to reduce poverty by improving education and economic opportunities for individuals and families.

For more information on Southern Bancorp Community Partners, visit www.southernpartners.org.