Free Tax Prep Helps You Keep More of Your Hard Earned Money

Microsoft volunteers were among
600 tax prep volunteers who made a
difference in 2011.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers every year, United Way of King County helps people file their tax returns and secure all of the refunds and credits for which they're eligible, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. People who use this free service also avoid the fees tied to commercial tax preparation and "rapid refund" loans.

Tax returns are prepared by IRS-trained and certified volunteers, and electronically filed for a fast refund. Multilingual tax preparers are available at several sites to serve customers who do not speak English. Customers can also 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.

United Way will operate 16 locations across King County from January 10 to April 17, 2012. AgeWise King County readers are encouraged to take part in the free tax preparation service or sign up as a 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 the United Way office on January 14 or 15.

In 2011, 600 volunteers dedicated 18,000 hours to United Way of King County's Free Tax Preparation Campaign. Volunteers prepared 13,320 tax returns and helped return $19.1 million in federal refunds to the community, including $6 million in Earned Income Tax Credits. The tax campaign also saved King County residents more than $1 million in tax preparation fees.

—Jared Erlandson, United Way of King County

For more information on how to become a volunteer for United Way's Free Tax Preparation Program, visit the United Way website.