United Way Offers Free Tax Preparation
Filing taxes can be tough – especially for people who aren’t sure which deductions they qualify for, whose first language isn’t English, or who have trouble because of their age or a disability. United Way’s Free Tax Preparation Campaign is an affordable way to overcome these obstacles.
The Free Tax Preparation Campaign runs from January 15 – April 15, 2013. This program helps people secure all the refunds and credits that they’re eligible for, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. Eligibility is for any household making ,000 or less.
Services are free. There are no hidden fees or charges. With this money in pocket, people can better keep food on the table and a roof overhead. In 2012, United Way’s 650 Free Tax Prep volunteers prepared 14,400 tax returns, returning clients .7 million in tax refunds to the community.
At all of the tax locations, IRS-certified volunteers file taxes electronically so clients get refunds fast and multilingual volunteers are ready to help at several different sites. You can also can sign up for public benefits and get help with the FAFSA (the application for college financial aid), among other services.
A new feature this year—you can text TAX and a five-digit ZIP code (for example, “TAX 98104”) to 313131 to learn which site is nearest to you.
What to bring to the tax site:
- W-2s or other statements for you and your spouse from all of your employers;
- Picture ID (new requirement);
- Social Security card or ITIN number and birth dates for everyone on your return;
- Any 1099 forms (for income from interest, dividends, retirement, Social Security or unemployment);
- Name, address and taxpayer identification number of child care provider if you pay for day care;
- Records of student loan payments;
- Records of payments for educational expenses, such as college tuition;
- Mortgage interest and property tax statements, if you own a home;
- Bank account number, for direct deposit;
- A copy of last year’s tax return, if you have it;
- If filing jointly, both filer and spouse must be present to file electronically.