United Way kicks off SWFL “Taxathon”

Southwest Florida residents can get their taxes filed fast, free and easy this Friday.

United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance is kicking off tax season with an all day “taxathon,” according to their website. Free filing service is available to families and individuals making under $66,000 in 2017.

The special event is Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. You must schedule an appointment to participate on their website.

MORE: VITA program helps SWFL residents file taxes for free


WINK News Call for Action has been working for years to protect you from tax scams and this week kicks off the 2018 tax season.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud line received more than 7,000 calls and emails combined in 2017.

MORE: Sheriff’s office warns of more scams, cases of fraud during tax season

There are many ways that scammers can trick you into giving up money and important personal information.

MORE: Protect yourself from tax scams with an IRS Identity Protection PIN

One way to protect yourself is an IP PIN. According to the IRS, the PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers that helps prevent the misuse of their Social Security number on fraudulent federal income tax returns.

To get an IP PIN, visit the IRS setup website.

Consumer Reports says it’s also critical to know that the IRS never calls out of the blue. If you have a tax problem, you’ll almost always be contacted by mail first. Other things the IRS will never do according to Consumer Reports:

  • Demand immediate payment.
  • Threaten imminent arrest or other enforcement action.
  • Require a specific payment method like a prepaid debit card.
  • Request confidential information on the phone.