Southside resident Rosetta Tinsley was forced to file her taxes on the last day of the filing deadline. Tinsley worked three jobs in 2021, and she did not receive her forms from one of those jobs sooner.

“I was waiting on my other job to mail me my tax forms, and they just now sent it,” Tinsley said. “I had to call the other job to mail me my papers. I don’t like doing anything at the last minute.”

Tinsley was one of nearly 10 people waiting in line to file taxes at the Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St., before the offices opened April 18. Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, residents making under $60,000 a year can get free assistance in filing their taxes at any of the 14 community tax centers in Tarrant County.

Norma Marshall, the site coordinator at the Southside Community Center’s tax filing location, said she’s been doing people’s taxes since 1982. Marshall grew up in Fort Worth.

“When I got out of high school, I started doing some tax stuff with H&R Block,” Marshall said. “You always hear people say, ‘I like helping people,’ I like helping them, but I like to help them help themselves by telling them what they need to do in order not to be in this last-minute situation.”

Marshall expected a busier day than most days on Tax Day — they average 30 to 45 people on a regular basis. She believed last-minute filers would mostly likely ask for help with filing extensions.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in Tarrant County is run by volunteers like Texas Wesleyan University senior Marrell Weatherd, who earned credit hours for his time at the tax center.

Weatherd, an accounting major, had to do a minimum of 60 hours of volunteer work, then write a journal after every 10 hours. He has volunteered since February of this year, but he feels as if he’s been “doing it for over two years the way I’ve been doing it these last weeks.”

“This site has been really, really, really busy. We started here about six years ago,” Marshall said.

Five Volunteer Income Tax Assistance centers will be open until April 29 for people who may have missed the Tax Day deadline.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSotoCommunity Engagement Journalist

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...