Saturday, February 5, 2011

Release: Free Tax Preparation Helps Workers Keep More of What They Earn and Avoid High Fees

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Jared Erlandson
Public Relations Manager
United Way of King County
206-461-3742

Free Tax Preparation Helps Workers Keep More of What They Earn and Avoid High Fees


Location 1:
Multi-Service Center
Address:
1200 S. 336th St. 98003
Hours:
Tuesdays – 5pm- 8pm (English, Spanish & Chinese)
Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm (English and Tagalog)
Thursdays – 5pm – 8pm (English and Tagalog)

Location 2:
King’s Court Community Center
Address:
33312 22nd Lane S. 98093
Hours:
Tuesdays – 5pm- 9pm (English & Tagalog)
Saturdays – 10 am– 2pm (English)

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SEATTLE- United Way of King County is offering Free Tax Preparation at 18 sites throughout King County through April 15, 2011. The program is designed to help low and middle-income families prepare their income tax forms, take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax credits while avoiding fees associated with commercial preparers.

In addition to filing tax returns, customers will be able to purchase savings bonds, open credit union accounts, sign up for prepaid debit cards and apply for public benefits such as the Washington Basic Food Program.

“United Way of King County offers the Free Tax Preparation Campaign because we understand that when people are able to establish savings, it creates a cushion that stabilizes their lives and can help them from falling into crisis, even homelessness,” said United Way of King County President and CEO Jon Fine. “Given the current economic climate, this campaign provides an excellent opportunity to help low income families save money.”

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal tax program that reduces the amount of income tax owed by low to moderate income workers. The credit ranges from $457 to $5,666 depending income and the number of qualifying children in a family.

“In some cases, the EITC alone can account for a 30 to 40 percent boost in annual household income,” said Fine. “Yet nationwide, 15 to 20 percent of families eligible for the EITC do not claim it.

Last year, United Way’s Free Tax Prep Campaign filed 14,000 returns and brought back $19.7 million in refunds to the community; $6.2 million of which came from the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Tax preparation services will be provided in multiple languages, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Somali, Amharic, Korean, Chinese, Tigrinya, and Russian by more than 600 IRS certified volunteers.

Taxpayers must bring photo identification and Social Security Cards(or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers) for themselves, spouses and dependents. They should also bring wage and earnings statements (Forms W-2), interest and dividend information concerning their income and expenses for the year of 2010.

For site locations, maps and more information, visit www.unitedwayofkingcounty.org/taxhelp or call 2-1-1.

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