Southwest Colorado Community College offers free tax help

The adage that nothing’s free is being disproven this month at Southwest Colorado Community College.

Starting Feb. 13, Internal Revenue Service-certified Southwest Colorado Community College (SCCC) students will prepare and e-file tax returns free of charge for individuals with household incomes of less than $50,000 a year. Through a partnership with the Denver-based Piton Foundation, the service helps hard-working families become more financially secure by providing free tax preparation assistance through the Tax Help Colorado program.

The free service, which is quick and confidential, is offered from 4 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 13, 18 and 27 at the SCCC campus on Highway 160.

Taxpayers are asked to bring all income-related documents, proof of tax-deductible expenses, Social Security cards, a copy of last year’s tax returns and bank account information to direct deposit the refund.

Last year, the program helped nearly 10,000 taxpayers receive more than $18.5 million in tax refunds. The program saved taxpayers nearly $2 million in commercial tax preparation fees.

The IRS estimates nearly 150 million individual tax returns will be filed this year. About three out of four filers will get refunds, with the average refund last year clocking in at $2,755.

Individuals have until April 15 to file their tax returns.