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Tax program to start after February 12



WINSTON-SALEM – Forsyth Free Tax, a program of Experiment in Self-Reliance (ESR), will be providing tax preparation for low-moderate income individuals and families again this tax season. The tax preparation services is free to residents who meet the income guidelines.

When you can start filing

The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation’s tax season will start on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.

The Feb. 12 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems following the Dec. 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.

Who qualifies & tax program sites

If you make less than $57,000, you can get free tax help and return preparation through volunteer sites. IRS-certified volunteers ask the needed questions to find out if you qualify for the EITC and other refundable credits. They also prepare and e-file (file electronically) your return at no cost to you. Forsyth Free Tax offers free tax preparation for people who qualify at the following tax sites:

  • The Robert Strickland Center at Forsyth Technical Community College (FTCC)
    • Visit forsythtech.edu for more information
    • Call 336-734-7656 after February 12* to make an appointment
    • Appointment times are Monday and Wednesday, 10 am – 3 pm, and Tuesday & Thursday, 1 pm – 7 pm beginning February 15*
    • The Robert Strickland Center is located at 2100 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
  • ESR
    • Visit eisr.org for more information
    • Call 336-722-9400 ext. 4 after February 12* to make an appointment
    • Appointment times are Monday – Thursday, 9 am – 3 pm beginning February 17*
    • ESR is located at 3480 Dominion Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27105

Appointments are required for drop-offs. Virtual options may be available. ESR and the Robert Strickland Center at FTCC are the only Forsyth Free Tax sites that will be open this season.

What to bring & next steps

Bring the following to make sure your return is processed correctly:

Photo ID, Social Security Card or individual tax identification number (ITIN for you, spouse and dependents), W-2s, 1099s, other tax documents, ID or SS numbers of childcare providers, last year’s tax return, direct deposit information (bank routing and account numbers), and Form 1095-A if healthcare coverage is through the Marketplace, Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Please consider completing this document prior to arriving to your first appointment, if you are able.

Drop off your tax information at ESR of the Robert Strickland Center at the specified time. Make an appointment to return. An IRS-certified volunteer will prepare your taxes within 72 hours. Your tax preparer will meet with you at your follow-up appointment before submitting your return.


About ESR

ESR is a non-profit Community Action Agency. Its mission is to empower social and economic self-reliance for the working low-income and homeless. Programs serve the working low to moderate income population in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, helping people locate safe and affordable housing, increase their education, attend financial education classes, have their taxes prepared at no cost and more.


Update: Dates from the original press release have been adjusted to reflect the tax season start dates from the IRS. For more information, click here.

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