CIRCLEVILLE — The latest event to be claimed by the COVID-19 pandemic is the free tax clinic organized by Pickaway County Community Action.

The 2021 clinic, a staple and popular program in recent years, will not be put on by PICCA this year.

Becky Hammond, PICCA Executive Director, said due to the nature of the program and a lack of volunteers, they decided to cancel.

“Our in-person requirement for the tax clinic is not being waved and the person that led it last year didn’t want to do it, and most of our volunteers are elderly and don’t want to risk it,” she said. “There’s another community action that has six counties under them and they’re not doing it this year.”

Hammond said there are two free resources they’re encouraging their clients to use, creditkarma.com and myfreetaxes.com.

Hammond said they do have some funding available to help people pay for their preparers.

“We have a grant for up to $100 to help people pay for their tax preparation,” she said. “Contact PICCA’s main phone number or email and we can send an application out to make sure they’re eligible.”

Hammond said outside the tax clinic, the organization is still operating like normal, if only through a virtual means.

“We’re doing all of our services and programs virtually,” she said. “We can sign people up through our web portal that we use for electronic signatures.”

Hammond said the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is still ongoing and they’ve received as many, if not more, applications for the program this winter.

“Our services haven’t changed; we’ve just changed the way we’ve done things,” she said. “The clients appreciate it more too. Some of them like face-to-face, but we have so many ways to get forms here, either dropping off in the drop box, faxing them or emailing them. We have a lot of different ways to get things done for them.”

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