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Free tax service in Findlay area cancelled

Around 700 people who relied on the service had their appointments cancelled

FINDLAY, Ohio — A vital service in Hancock County, which helps low income families file taxes for free has been canceled.

For 20 years, the group Findlay Area Tax Volunteers have been filing state and federal tax returns for low to medium income families as part of the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Last year, the 17 program volunteers helped 1,700 individuals not only file their taxes for free, but also helped them receive more than $2 million in refunds.

"We give about three months a year. Each volunteer works over 100 hours in volunteer time during the tax season. So we total over 2,000 hours of volunteer time every year," said Larry McDaniel, administrator of the Findlay Area Tax Volunteers

But, the tax volunteers had to work out of the Findlay-Hancock Public Library, and only completed 1,000 of the 1,700 tax appointments before the library closed.

This week, they had to make the tough decision to officially cancel their remaining 700 appointments.

Now those people who relied on this service are on their own and more than likely can't afford to pay another tax service.

"I know that they're very uncomfortable going some place else. And so, it is heartbreaking to have to explain to them that we can't help them this year. And unfortunately, there will be a number of them that will not file a tax return," said McDaniel.

The hope is that the Findlay Area Tax Volunteers will be able to work out of the library next tax season. 

The window to apply for an appointment usually goes live in mid to late January.

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