It's the time of year again where Americans will begin filing their taxes. Some may choose to do it online and others may choose a tax service. But there's another option in Bay county and it's completely free.
It's called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and Youngstown resident Gerald Norwood is using it today.
"These people are real patient down here," says Norwood. "They will take time with you, they're a god send, god bless them all."
Sponsored by the United Way and run strictly by volunteers, those who have an Adjusted Gross Income of 51,000 dollars or less are eligible to get their taxes done, for free.
"Last year we helped over 700,000 dollars in credit come back to the community and we helped save over 200,000 in tax fees," says Ron Sharpe, Director of Resource Development at the United Way of Northwest Florida.
It's a program Norwood says he's grateful for. He's tried a free online tax service before and found it confusing.
"I probably lost two to three hundred dollars trying to do it that way," says Norwood. "This way, the people you got, someone face to face that can explain everything to you."
Starting Tuesday this free tax service will remain open at the A.D. Harris Learning Center in Panama City.
"When you look at it, it's a good thing," says Sharpe. "If we can help ya and save ya some money at the same time, that's what it's about. What comes around goes around."
Volunteers will be on hand Monday through Friday from 9 to 4:30 and on Saturday from 9a.m. to 2:30 p.m. until the April tax deadline.
For the first time ever this year, the United Way will provide a free online tax service for those who have an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less. This service allows you to prepare your tax return on your own but also offers assistance through a toll free number and email. To prepare, go to: http://myfreetaxes.com/unitedwayofnwfl