Filing tax returns can be tricky, and community organizations across the state are working to ensure Michigan taxpayers don’t lose out on the refunds they may be due. Ross Yednock with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan encourages anyone seeking assistance with their income tax returns to ensure their preparer is qualified. He explains that in Michigan, like many other states, there are no requirements or regulations for paid tax preparers.
“Anybody can hang out a shingle and charge people to do their taxes. That’s a little frightening. That’s not to say there are not good preparers out there. But if you paid someone to do your tax returns, you’re still liable for it – and a lot of people don’t realize that and are left holding the bag when their taxes were done wrong.”
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program has IRS-certified preparers who help taxpayers earning less than $56,000 dollars file their returns free, and also identify possible credits and deductions. There are hundreds of VITA sites in Michigan. The United Way of Southwest Michigan offers several.