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Last minute free tax help available in Tulsa

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If you still haven't filed your taxes, you have until midnight Friday night. For some people, it's left a feeling of panic forming in their stomachs. For those who may not be a tax whiz, but can't afford to hire a pro, there is help free of charge.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin explains. Jim Casey has spent the last 20 years throwing a life preserver to people drowning in a sea of red ink. "Maybe it would be a good idea to get in an automatic extension." He does something many of us couldn't get paid enough to do other people's taxes and he does it for free. "People need help and I'm retired and I don't mind helping them at all."

Its help Holly Lee gratefully accepted after she filed her own return, then needed to make a change. “The amendment, I had no idea how to do by myself and a friend told me about this place and it was so easy I didn't have to do anything except show them my paperwork."

Free tax help is just one of the many services provided by Community Action Project of Tulsa County. Last year, volunteers processed 14,000 tax returns.

In Lee's case the extra help really paid off. Jim Casey: "$636 refund." Holly Lee: "Thank you so much sir, I really appreciate it."

"We make contact with a lot of people who can't afford to pay for having their taxes done and it's so complex nowadays, they don't understand it." Jim Casey, a former military and a retired industrial engineer, took a special training course when his own taxes got a bit too complicated, then decided to share the wealth. He says his reward is two-fold, he learns new tricks every year. "And I enjoy helping people."

The volunteers have offices throughout Tulsa County. Call 481-2020 for locations. The program offers help for families earning $36,000 or less. If you do not fall into that category, there are other resources on line.

Volunteers recommend Turbo Tax, Tax Cut and the IRS website to name a few.
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