Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Free Tax Prep Event

On Saturday, February 7 we held our first ever Free Tax Prep event in partnership with the Office of Human Concern. This event was to help families or individuals making less than $42,000 in 2008 get their taxes done for free, and possibly qualify them for an Earned Income Tax Credit of up to $4,800!

While we are still waiting to get the overall community impact, we served more than 60 people on Saturday helping ensure these families are on a path to financial stability.

A volunteer doing a quality review of a return

During the day, we heard stories from families that were receiving a refund of nearly $7,000! This family was going to use it to buy their first home, so that they can stop paying rent, and start (hopefully) building equity in a solid investment.

Serving these people would not have been possible without the help of the Samaritan Community Center staff and volunteers, the volunteers who were certified to prepare taxes by the IRS, and the countless other volunteers and staff that gave up their time on a Saturday to give back to the community.

Volunteers getting final instructions before the event officially begins.

While this event might be over, we still encourage people who make less than $42,000 a year to look into having their taxes prepared by certified volunteers through the Office of Human Concerns VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).

If you make less than $56,000 a year, then we encourage you to try doing your taxes online at TheBeehive.org. This website is in partnership with United Way of America, One Economy and the Walmart Foundation to help individuals do their taxes for free online instead of paying money to go to a paid preparer or be tempted by Rapid Refunds.

To learn more about the dangers of Rapid Refunds, visit these links:
Refund Anticipation Loans can Carry a High Price
Cheaper & Still Fast Alternatives to Refun Loans

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