It’s free: Goodwill accepting tax return walk-ins at Midtown center, appointments in Midland and Phenix City


Everyone should have their necessary W-2 and 1099 forms by now for filing their 2015 income tax returns.

Now comes the next step — completing the returns — with those individuals and households earning under $54,000 last year eligible for free tax preparation assistance at the local centers run by Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers.

The organization, which also operates retail stores and career centers, is now taking walk-in tax filers only at its Midtown center, 2601 Cross Country Drive. The hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For information, call 706-256-1837.

However, appointments are required at Goodwill’s centers in the Midland area of Columbus (6707 Flat Rock Court) and in Phenix City (3605 U.S. Highway 431). For information and appointments, call the Midland facility at 706-341-4724 (option 4) and the Phenix City center at 334-664-9716 (option 4).

This is the sixth year that Goodwill has assisted with preparation and filing of tax returns at no charge through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. It uses preparers who have received Internal Revenue Service training.

The organization completed more than 4,400 returns in the region last year, resulting in about $4.6 million in refunds. The local Goodwill affiliate also has preparers in Newnan, Ga., and Valdosta, Ga. It serves 50 counties in all. More information is available at

One note: A quirk in the calendar this year means filers will have an extra weekend to tackle their tax returns. An Emancipation Day holiday in Washington D.C. falls on Friday, April 15, which has resulted in the government giving people until the end of the day Monday, April 18, to submit their documents to the IRS.

None of the local Goodwill sites prepare tax returns on Mondays.