Each year, Rebecca and Dan look forward to their tax refund. They work hard and save what they can, but the past two years have been especially difficult. Dan lost his job and Rebecca took on extra shifts to help fill the gaps, but with the kids home from school and unemployment benefits delayed, what little they had saved is quickly disappearing. They need their tax refund to make ends meet.
That’s why United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Free Tax Preparation program is here for everyone in our community, including neighbors like Rebecca and Dan. For more than a decade, United Way’s volunteer tax preparers have worked to make sure hardworking individuals and families get the maximum refund they have earned and deserve – free of charge.
Here are four things to know about getting your taxes done for free with United Way:
- United Way’s tax preparers are trained professionals.
There’s no way around it, tax filing can be complicated. Each of United Way’s Free Tax Preparation volunteers receives IRS training and is educated on tax credits and current opportunities. As tax law and credits change each year, this is an important part of making sure you get every penny of what you are entitled to.
- Help is available for everyone.
Assistance from a volunteer tax preparer is available for individuals with a total income of up to $38,000 and families with a total annual income up to $58,000. Virtual assistance is available through ‘Get Your Refund’ for individuals and families with a total annual income up to $66,000. And, free, do-it-yourself online tax assistance is available through ‘My Free Taxes’ for all individuals and families, regardless of income.
- There is no charge – really.
When we say “Free Tax Preparation,” we truly mean FREE. Unfortunately, other tax prep services appear to be free of charge, but the tiny, legal wording may allow them to take a portion of your refund as payment for their services. Nothing is more devastating than planning for the refund you’re expecting and then not receiving that full amount.
- United Way’s Free Tax Prep keeps you safe.
Above all else, we understand how important it is to keep you, your refund and our volunteers safe. Our secure and IRS-funded process makes sure your financial information is never shared. If you use our virtual services, you can upload your materials and tax experts will prepare and review the return. If you use in-person tax preparation, all meetings will be conducted in a safe environment, following CDC guidelines.
With a helping hand from United Way’s volunteers, this year’s tax refund can help you move toward financial stability. These funds could put food on the table, fix your car or add to your savings – the choice is yours. But whatever you do, don’t leave money on the table.
United Way’s Free Tax Preparation services are available now through April 14, 2022 by visiting pa211sw.org or dialing 2-1-1.