Two important aspects of helping Texans improve their financial stability is to help them to keep more of the money they earn and grow their savings. United Ways and their local partners assist community members at tax-time by offering free tax assistance, both in-person and online.
In-person Tax Assistance and Preparation
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify, and are run or supported by United Ways across Texas, together with their community coalition partners. At the VITA site, IRS-certified volunteers provide basic return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. In addition to informing clients about valuable tax credits and deductions for which they may be eligible, VITA sites provide a safe alternative to high-fee tax preparation services and predatory lenders offering expensive refund anticipation loans and provide an avenue for financial education.
VITA sites also help many working families access valuable tax credits such as Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and Child Tax Credits (CTC), keeping money in the hands of working individuals and families. In Texas, nearly 1.5 million families (and 3 million children) are affected by these tax credits. During the 2016 tax season, $7.1 billion was returned to Texas tax filers in the form of EITC. Pictured: A United Way of Central Texas VITA client (above right), and a VITA volunteer with United Way of Southern Cameron County (left).
See how United Way of Tarrant County helps low-income, working families get on the path to financial stability through VITA.
Online Tax Assistance and Preparation
MyFreeTaxes.com is an interactive resource for information regarding tax preparation, valuable credits including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and personal finance, as well as access to free, in-person tax preparation sites. MyFreeTaxes provides an easy, safe, and free way to file taxes online. This partnership is made possible through the collaboration of nearly 1,000 partners including the IRS, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations (including United Way), and state and local government agencies. United Way promotes MyFreeTaxes to help support the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community - and maximizing their tax refund and savings ability is a key step towards that goal.
How does MyFreeTaxes Work? Learn more with this video from United Way Worldwide