SCCC students helping provide free tax service

Jaye Jones-Daves, a Cortez resident and several other students from Southwest Colorado Community College as well as from Fort Lewis College are providing free income tax preparation assistance to low- to moderate-income community families.

Jones-Daves, who is is on track to earn an Associate of Arts degree in Business Management in May from SCCC, is participating in the Denver-based Piton Foundation's Tax Help Colorado program. The program will continue through March 2. It is available from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at The Commons building in Durango, and is open to households or senior citizens in the entire Four Corners region that had a 2012 income of less than $50,000.

This is the first year that the service has been offered at the SCCC, which is a branch of Pueblo Community College. This semester, PCC students in Pueblo are participating in the program for the third consecutive year. Last year, PCC students prepared tax forms for 306 taxpayers worth a total of $633,311 in refunds.

The students were trained via classroom instruction and then Internal Revenue Service-certified to prepare basic and intermediate income tax returns.

Questions can be directed to the free local 2-1-1 number (a free call) or by going to The Piton Foundation website at www.piton.org. Additional information is available on the Tax Help Colorado Facebook page at www.facebook.com/taxhelpcolorado.