Do you qualify for free tax preparation?

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dozens of people lined up outside the Vineyard Church not to attend a religious service but to get their taxes done, for free.

One of those in line was Evelyn Lebron Alvarado, who is a single mother of two who up until now paid up to $400 to have her taxes done.

Alvarado heard about a free tax-preparation service called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). It's part of the Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign (EITC).  If you earned less than $50,270 in 2012 you may qualify for several tax credits.

VITA volunteer tax preparers are IRS certified and trained. They prepare taxes for what the federal government considers low- to moderate-income individuals and working families.

Charlie Boyce is vice president of community impact for Valley of the Sun United Way, which helps sponsor the VITA sites.

"Their goal is to just get the word out about the earned income tax credits so that people are aware of this and they tell their friends, tell their neighbors," Boyce said.

Sites are up and running across Arizona. Since 2003 the city of Phoenix Human Services Department has endorsed the EITC Campaign. In that time low- to moderate-income families have received more than $53 million in federal funds through various Phoenix sites. The program has helped families in Phoenix keep more than $11 million in transaction costs in their wallets instead of going to paid tax preparers.

To find out if you qualify and for information about the free tax preparation, phone numbers and links are listed below.

Hot line:  1-877-211-8661,-Maximum-Credit--Amounts-and-Tax-Law-Updates,-Earned-Income-Tax-Credit,-Questions-and-Answers