How Free Tax Services Boost Financial Stability

By United Way of King County, on June 6, 2016 | In Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

900+ volunteers can sure get a load of work done.

That’s how many people spent 45,000 total hours this January to April in United Way’s Free Tax Preparation Campaign. And that led to broken records and our most successful season yet in this key program that builds families’ financial stability.

Now for the record-breaking stats made possible by hard work and your support

Let’s take a closer look at those great numbers.

  • 21,750 tax returns prepared for low/moderate-income families and individuals for free. That’s a 9% increase over last year.
  • $29.1 million in refunds. Yes MILLION. $9.4 million of that is from the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the strongest anti-poverty tools for working people with low/moderate income.
  • 3,035 referrals to financial resources such as Basic Food, health care and utility assistance. These referrals keep people financially stable year-round. This is a 50% increase over last year. That 50%? It means we have more tax-season partnerships with area nonprofits also working with struggling families. More partnerships mean more reps at tax sites showing people what resources they qualify for.

Is it really free? Yes. Professional tax services charge fees even if you do your own return and just want it checked. Our tax preparers are IRS-trained and do it all for free. That’s huge when money’s already tight.

Year-Round Tax Prep Kicks Off at Seattle Public Library

This tax season we had 24 tax sites all over King County at libraries, community centers and agencies like YWCA. But tadaaaa! Year-round tax prep is here!

Year-round tax prep sounds awful, actually. But this service fills a critical need in our community, as ours is the only option for free tax help outside of the tax season in King County. With our outstanding partners at the Seattle Public Library’s downtown branch, we prepared 32 tax returns in the first week alone. We expect to serve several hundred more people through this post-season service.

The Free Tax Prep Campaign is helping people escape poverty. Thank you for keeping that going.


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