Community Champions: Neighborhood Improvement Association

Community Champions: Neighborhood Improvement Association

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In between the seemingly weekly holidays on the winter calendar, tax season arrived on Abercorn Street.

"We started on January 21 and we will go on until November sometime, when we will stop doing it,” Neighborhood Improvement Association Director Debra Simmons said.

But the next 10 weeks is when the Neighborhood Improvement Association will be busiest, offering free tax help by preparing returns for members of the community who are nor comfortable doing it themselves.

"Every day we have different people coming in, more and more people coming in ... you get all of your money back. So, if you have income credit, you don't have to pay someone four or five hundred dollars, to someone. You get all of that money back; you can use that money to do whatever you want with it,” Simmons said.

The NIA is supposed to be for those who earn less than $55,000 a year, but they are not limited in the type of returns they can process.

"We have the short form, but we also have the schedule 9, which is a long form. But with the changes in the tax laws, you don't have as many people itemizing now. But we can do that, we can do some schedule Cs as well,” Simmons said.

They can expect to see a kind of client for the next couple of weeks at least.

"February usually is a peak time. The other peak time is April. But they're two different clientele. The people in February are ones who earn income credit, the ones in April are the ones that owe the government. So, they come at the very last minute,” Simmons said.

But everyone visiting the WTOC Community Champions at the Neighborhood Improvement Association usually share one thing in common.

"People don’t want to get in trouble with the IRS, so they want to have it done correctly. And the good thing about our preparers, they’re volunteers, but they’re all certified. So, you must be IRS certified in order to do these taxes. So, someone off the street cannot do it,” Simmons said.

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