News Flash! Free Tax Prep Helps You Keep More of Your Hard-Earned Money

In case you haven't heard, any household making $51,000 or less can have their taxes prepared for FREE from United Way of 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. Along with tax preparation, volunteers help clients with additional services such as savings bonds purchasing, assistance applying for public benefits, and pulling credit reports.

In 2012, United Way of King County served over 3,000 clients aged 55+ and helped return $5.5 million in refunds to the clients. The program also held special events preparing tax returns for clients at the Speech, Hearing and Deafness Center in Seattle.

Three Shoreline tax preparation volunteers tell why they help taxpayers get their tax refunds.

United Way will operate 17 locations across King County from January 15 to April 15, 2013. For locations and hours of operation, click here.

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 South Seattle Community College on January 12 and 13. For details on volunteering, click here.

In 2012, 600 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 $20.7 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.

For more information, visit United Ways' Free Tax Preparation Campaign website, or call King County 2-1-1 (dial 2-1-1 or 800-621-4636).