Friday, April 14, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Free Tax Help Bay Area

Is it possible to write a Feel Good Friday blog about taxes? When we highlight the work of Free Tax Help Bay Area, the answer is yes.

A program of United Way Bay Area, Free Tax Help Bay Area is a coalition of organizations that provides free tax preparation for low-to-moderate-income households in the Bay Area, in partnership with the IRS. All services are free, secure and high quality, and all tax returns are prepared by trained and IRS-certified volunteers.

While it seems like this information is being shared with you at the last minute, it’s really not. Residents of the nine Bay Area counties have until October 16th to file their taxes due to the extreme weather seen statewide this winter. So you’ve got plenty of time to access these resources.

Free tax preparation is available for anyone who needs it and there are several filing options. You can visit a participating site in person to get help or drop off your taxes. You can also file online by filling out a short interview form and uploading your documents. IRS-certified tax preparers from Code for America will prepare your taxes virtually.

Volunteers make sure taxpayers claim the tax credits they are eligible for, helping maximize their refund to make ends meet. In 2022 the program helped provide 32,228 tax returns resulting in $53,289,926 in total federal and state refunds back to families in the community.

You don’t need tax experience to volunteer, you’ll receive training. As long as you are comfortable working with people, computer literate and able to commit to one shift per week, you can help your neighbors in need file taxes accurately, claiming the tax credits that help them make ends meet.

If you’re unable to take a volunteer shift this season, you can also help by making a donation and letting more people know about Free Tax Help Bay Area on social media. Follow United Way Bay Area on Facebook, on Twitter @UWBayArea and Instagram @uwbayarea. 

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