Free income tax return preparation assistance available to area residents

A program called $AVe IT, the Southernmost Area Volunteer Income Tax service, offers free income tax return preparation assistance to area residents.

The program is available to eligible taxpayers throughout Southernmost Illinois, without regard to their county of residence.  

$AVe IT! is a partnership which involves the IRS and local organizations, including University of Illinois Extension, the Vienna Area Ministerial Alliance, Shawnee Development Council and Faith Alive.

Free federal and state return preparation and e-filing are available for people of any age with earnings up to $58,000 and to those who are 60 years of age or older with no income limits. 

There is absolutely no charge for these services.

Volunteers in the program especially want to serve those for whom a tax preparation service would be a hardship. 

Also, the volunteers recognize that many households do not have computer access to navigate filing their taxes from home in the southernmost area it serves.

Volunteers are IRS-certified to provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing. 

Volunteers can assist taxpayers with questions about the Affordable Care Act provisions and other special tax credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. 

Volunteers also handle pensions and retirement issues unique to seniors.

Appointments are available at the following locations:

Southern Pride Senior Center in Vienna on Thursdays, starting Jan. 31, from 9 a.m to noon. Contact the office at 618-658-9669 for appointments.

University of Illinois Extension office in Vienna on Fridays, starting Feb. 2; and on select Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon. Call 618-973-0978 for appointments.

Shawnee Development Council, Karnak, Wednesday, Feb. 20, and Wednesday, March 19. Call Shawnee Development Council at 618-634-2201 for  appointments.

For more information, contact Lynn McMahan at 618-973-0978 or e-mail at

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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