New Ways to Keep More of Your Hard-Earned Money

Starting January 13, 2015, any household making $60,000 or less can have their taxes prepared for free by United Way of King County's Free Tax Campaign at 25 locations across King County.

With the help of hundreds of IRS-trained and certified  volunteers, United Way of King County helps people file their tax returns and secure credits for which they're eligible. The service is easy to access, gets clients' refunds quickly, and is absolutely free. In addition to tax preparation, volunteers can help clients with additional services such as savings bonds purchasing, assistance applying for health care, public benefits, and pulling credit reports.

New Year, New Methods of Service

This year United Way is expanding services in three different ways. First, the Free Tax Prep Campaign will be extending the program dates to be open until April 18. Anyone needing to file their taxes after April 15 will now have the opportunity to avoid the stress and visit an open location near them.

Joe used to work for Seattle City Light. Now he's one of United Way's most experienced Tax Prep volunteers.

Second, the Free Tax Prep Campaign will offer help with reporting healthcare on tax returns. Are you unsure about how health care coverage is going to affect your taxes? Volunteers and managers at each site will help clients understand and file their taxes with your healthcare coverage. Not signed up for healthcare? Sites are also equipped to either sign up for health care coverage or refer clients to an organization who can walk you through the process.

Finally, one of the biggest ways United Way is expanding is through a new Drop-Off Service. From January 20 to March 31, clients have the option to come to one of four new sites where they get their tax forms scanned and go home. A week later, they can come back to pick up their completed tax return. Through this new convenient method, clients can avoid the wait and get access to the same services in around just 30 minutes.

Each tax prep location will operate from January 13 to April 15, 2015. For locations, languages spoken, and hours of operation, click here or call 2-1-1.

AgeWise King County readers are encouraged to take part in the free tax preparation service or get involved by signing up to volunteer. United Way is still recruiting volunteers for the program who are available to attend one of two remaining trainings for IRS certification, scheduled at South Seattle Community College on January 11 and 12. For details on volunteering, click here.

Contributor Emily Vyhnanek is a Financial Empowerment AmeriCorps Member with United Way of King County. See her article, Empower Your Community and Take Action Against Poverty, in the November issue of AgeWise King County.