From KPLC in Lake Charles:
Tax season is here and in Southwest Louisiana, an estimated $10 million of Federal Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) go unclaimed by local taxpayers. However, not all eligible taxpayers may be aware or claim the credit. In addition, taxpayers who qualify for EITC also qualify for free tax preparation services through the use of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs (VITA) which use IRS certified community volunteers. These volunteers can help qualifying taxpayers with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly. The sites also offer free electronic filing (e-filing). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refund in ½ the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster if refunds are deposited directly into the taxpayer’s bank account.