On Jan. 22, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program of Forsyth County will reopen its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Free Tax Preparation service. Nine VITA tax preparation sites will operate throughout the county during tax season. A kickoff event, National EITC Awareness Day, designed to alert eligible taxpayers about the EITC credit, will be held on Friday, Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. at the Winston-Salem Transit Authority’s Clark Campbell Transportation Center, 100 West Fifth St., which is one of the EITC tax preparation sites. Mayor Allen Joines and other community leaders will share remarks and free tax services will be provided following the event. The other VITA sites are the Central Library (660 W. Fifth St.) and Malloy Jordan Heritage Center (1110 E. Seventh St.), Goodwill Industries (2760 Peters Creek Parkway), Truliant Federal Credit Union (3200 Truliant Way, off Hanes Mall Boulevard) and the Career Connections and Prosperity Center (585 Waughtown St.). There are a variety of days and times for tax preparation, including evenings and Saturdays. Bilingual tax preparers will also be made available. Last year, this combined community-based free tax preparation program served more than 2,500 families throughout Forsyth County by preparing their taxes for free through trained and certified volunteers to save them money, and ensuring that many eligible households claim the EITC, which is a tax credit for low-to-moderate-income working families. More than $2 million is retrieved annually in EITC refunds for families and the local economy, and nearly $4 million in total refunds are processed annually by the program. The web site www.ForsythFreeTax.org has been launched to provide online information about free tax preparation sites in Forsyth County, as well as an explanation of the EITC. Information about site locations and their schedules can also be obtained by calling First Line at 703-3000 or the United Way’s 211. The EITC/VITA Program in Forsyth County is sponsored by the Forsyth Working Families Partnership, a collaborative of various local agencies that serve low-income families, and other institutions such as United Way. Local businesses and educational institutions are also a part of the effort.