Free Tax Prep Helps People Keep More of Their Hard-Earned Money

 

With the help of hundreds of volunteers, United Way of King County will help hard-working, low-income people file their tax returns for free next year. United Way will operate 17 locations across King County from January 15 to April 15, 2013. IRS-trained and certified volunteers make sure people secure all of the refunds and credits for which they’re eligible, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is cited as the largest anti-poverty tool in the U.S.

Multilingual tax preparers will be available at several sites to serve customers who do not speak English. Customers will also be able to sign up for certain public benefits and learn about opportunities to make the most of their tax refunds by opening or expanding savings accounts or putting a portion of their refund into a U.S. Savings Bond.

Older adults are encouraged to take part in the free tax preparation service or sign up as a volunteer. Tax experience is not needed—all that's required is being comfortable with computers and having a willingness to learn. Volunteers go through two days of training to learn everything they need to know and become IRS-certified.

If preparing taxes is not for you, there are number of other opportunities to help low-income families and individuals such as helping people sign up for public benefits at the tax prep sites.

In 2012, 650 volunteers dedicated 18,000 hours to United Way of King County's Free Tax Preparation Campaign. Volunteers prepared 14,400 tax returns and helped return $20.1 million in federal refunds to the community, including $7 million in Earned Income Tax Credits. The tax campaign also saved King County residents more than $1.5 million in tax preparation fees.

Help continue this amazing work! To volunteer with United Way of King County’s Free Tax Campaign, e-mail EITC@uwkc.org or visit www.uwkc.org/taxvolunteer.