Low- and middle-income workers will have help filing local, state, and federal taxes this year through the 2013 Free Tax Preparation Campaign.
Angela Reynolds, Director of Programs for Financially Struggling Adults and Families with the United Way, said volunteers will be offering assistance in 11 sites throughout Allegheny County beginning Monday.
She said to qualify for help, people must individually be making $20,000 or less, or filing jointly $40,000 or less annually.
Reynolds said all scheduling will be done through the 211 phone line.
“So a taxpayer doesn’t need to know the hours for the sites. What they can do is they can call 211, which is our helpline,” said Reynolds. “And 211 will be able to schedule an appointment, trying to bear in mind where they live geographically and trying to keep them at a site that’s closest to them.”
Reynolds said they will stand by taxpayers if questions arise after they have filed. She said they have safeguards in place to make sure people are being assisted properly.
“They’ll know, for example, who came through the site,” said Reynolds. “All of the confidential information, of course, will be shredded. But they will maintain some information to be able to assist the taxpayer later on, if there are any questions.”
Reynolds said all of their volunteers are trained and IRS certified.
She said every return is reviewed by another volunteer before it is filed.
Reynolds said 2013 is the program’s 5th year. She said in 2012, the volunteers filed 6,396 returns with $10.6 million in refunds.