Local free tax service a success

   In its fourth year, the Conrad VITA site has helped 47 residents take advantage of the free tax-preparation and e-filing services.
   Residents brought in their W-2s and receipts and were assisted with their federal and state taxes at no cost.
   1st Liberty Federal Credit Union, the Internal Revenue Service, Gianarelli Law Office, and local volunteer tax preparer Shari Gianarelli have partnered to bring in IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site to Conrad.
   Since 2006 over 139 people have used this free tax service in Conrad. In 2009, 39 returns were filed with over $77,000 in federal and state refunds.
   “I was pleased by how many Conrad area residents took advantage of this service and encourage people who qualify to set up an appointment early next year,” said Gianarelli.
   Kelly Greer, Branch Manager of 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union, has enjoyed working with the program over the years.
   “It is a wonderful program,” she tells the I-O, adding, “We are one of only 13 credit unions that run VITA sites statewide.”
   VITA sites aren’t for everyone.
   The IRS certified volunteers are trained to do uncomplicated returns for people who earn $42,000 or less. For clients served in Conrad, the average adjusted gross income was $20,000.