Free IRS tax filing options from United Way, others

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:

As Ben Franklin famously once said, nothing is certain except death and taxes.

Tax season is upon us and there may be ways to make it a little easier with free tax filing.

If your household income is $66,000 or less, you’re eligible for United Way’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) service.

You have to book an appointment and bring relevant forms with you like your W-2s, photo ID, and social security card.

And since the IRS is still working on last year’s returns, the United Way recommends booking your appointment as soon as possible, here.

With documents in hand and her ID at the ready, Margaret Goodwin is ready to get her taxes out of the way.

She started going to United Way’s program years ago after learning she didn’t have to pay for help to file.

Goodwin said, “I like the paper. I like the one-on-one to know that everything has been done correctly and I know that they are going to file and you’d rather have your paper back up.”

Patrice Cunningham with United Way said the organization completed 7,000 tax returns last year alone.

Because of the pandemic and child tax credits, they expect that number to grow to 9,000 this year, potentially saving thousands of families hundreds of dollars.

“On a normal day to get a tax return done, it cost $250 to 300 on average,” Cunningham explained. “For a family who, when the average family we serve is about $24,000 to $25,000 overall. That’s a lot of money that can go back in their pocket, that can pay a medical bill, food for a few weeks.”

Each one of the volunteers here is IRS certified and everyone’s work is checked and cross-checked.

You can expect to spend about an hour at your appointment, but Goodwin says it’s worth it. “They’ve always been so lovely and professional and I’ll always come back”

You can also file for free online with United Way or choose IRS free file.

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