Southern Bancorp: Record Year for Free Tax Prep Services

by Mark Carter  on Wednesday, May. 7, 2014 1:36 pm  

Southern Bancorp announced Wednesday that its annual, free tax preparation service this year resulted in almost 3,000 tax returns and more than $6 million in refunds and credits for individuals and families in Arkansas and Mississippi.

In 10 years, Southern's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has resulted in roughly 13,000 tax returns and more than $26 million in refunds and credits. The 2014 numbers represent a record for the volunteer-run program, comprised of roughly 50 Southern employees who received IRS training to guide taxpayers through the filing process.

"The program has been a great success for many of the communities served by Southern," said Darrin Williams, Southern Bancorp CEO, in a news release. "Southern was founded as a way of finding unique solutions to the economic problems facing rural communities, and providing a free tax service that helps bring dollars to local communities is one way we fulfill that mission."

This year, more than $3 million in program refunds came from the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-to moderate-income working individuals and families, according to the release. In all, the VITA program has resulted in more than $13 million in EITC refunds.

Based in Arkadelphia, Southern Bancorp is a rural development bank with nonprofit affiliates serving small communities in Arkansas and Mississippi.

 

 

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