The income tax filing deadline is still nearly three months away. The Human Resources Development Council started offering free help on Wednesday.
As HRDC expected, it was a busy first day.
The HRDC District 7 office makes appointments and is booked for the next two weeks.
Last year, it handled about 1,900 tax returns in Yellowstone County.
All the reserved spots were taken on the first day.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA gives help to taxpayers with an annual salary of $54,000 or less.
In 2015, HRDC volunteers helped with $3.3-million in tax refunds with $1.3-million of that in earned income credit.
The volunteer certified tax preparers can help maneuver through the tax codes.
"We have a lot of return volunteers from year to year," said Mary Beth Shay, VITA coordinator at HRDC. "And I think they just enjoy being able to help other people out. the tax preparer knows their story and a lot of times, they'll ask for that tax preparer. It's a lot of fun.you know a lot of times we'll get thank you's. And so it's really rewarding."
Shay says to bring social security cards, a picture ID, W2's, 1099's and other tax forms, a bank statement or check for routing number She also suggests bringing last year's tax return.
Shay says it's best to call 247-4710 to make an appointment.
HRDC is also encouraging opening a savings account for tax refunds.
VITA will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 pm to 7 pm, Friday from 1 pm to 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.