A local organization is making tax season a little easier for residents.
United Way of Allegheny County (UWAC) is providing free tax preparation service to low-and-moderate income individuals, families, and seniors.
Individuals who make less than $20,000, and households with an income of less than $40,000 are eligible for the Money in Your Pocket Coalition (MYPC). They also have a self-assistance tool to help families that make a little more.
“We’re not charging anything for this service because we want that money to go back to the household. It’s your money you’ve earned it, and we’re hoping that it would then stay in their pockets,” said program director Angela Reynolds.
All 200 of their volunteers are IRS certified and have received extensive training to prepare taxes.
Last year, UWAC helped get $10 million in refunds by preparing 5,811 tax returns, and this year they are hoping to do about 6,000 returns.
MYPC will be focusing on one tax credit in particular that 1 in 5 eligible tax payers miss out on-- the Earned Income Tax Credit which can earn families up to $6,143.
“We have noted, through the coalition and those who have visited our sites that this benefit is extremely helpful for households that are financially struggling within this region, and that is one of the reasons again that we don’t charge for our services,” said Reynolds.
She added that this program is a great way for people to get their money back through educating the public on taxes.
“We would like to increase the awareness of individuals, one of the earned income tax credit also of the free tax preparation service... No hidden fees, completely free,” said Reynolds.
Those looking to get their taxes done should: photo ID, social security card for each household member, birth dates, all W-2’s for all jobs held, anything that has “important for your taxes” printed on it, and if someone is married filing jointly they must all bring their spouse.
To schedule an appointment or to see if you qualify, call the county’s 211 hotline which operates 24 hours a day.