WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – The United Way of Washtenaw County offers free tax preparation services to residents of all economic backgrounds.
“It’s a major economic engine as we brought back $ 1.5 million for the community last year,” said Pam Smith, CEO of the United Way of Washtenaw County. “It’s a program that puts money in people’s hands and then puts the money back into the community when they go shopping or pay their rent.”
According to official figures, the United Way of Washtenaw County has already helped 650 people file their taxes this tax season.
The organization has a group of up to 100 certified tax preparation volunteers to help residents. All United Way volunteers go through IRS certification before starting serving members of the public, Smith said.
The large number of people who have come to the United Way in support this year could be due to some new nuances in people’s taxes, Smith said.
“Additional people needed help this year,” said Smith. “People who normally don’t have to file a tax return to get their childcare and economic impact tax credits, as well as people who have accumulated unemployment, may need additional help.”
Due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the pandemic, an extension has been granted for those who wish to file their taxes by May 17 instead of April 15.
United Way typically provides tax preparation services in person, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is providing virtual assistance to Washtenaw County’s residents.
“We set up scan-and-go sites to scan your documents and then online appointments where people upload their documents and our volunteers take them over from there,” said Smith.
All dates for the 2021 tax season are currently fully booked. However, individuals should sign up here to be placed on a waiting list and notified when more free tax assistance appointments are available.
“We encourage people to use MyFreeTaxes.com and if they need additional help they can put themselves on our waiting list,” said Smith. “Our volunteers worked really hard to reach as many people as possible.”
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