Free Tax Prep & Census 2020

Each year United Way volunteers help thousands of low-income people prepare their taxes. This service helps ensure low-income families and individuals keep more of what they earn and save for the future.

The Free Tax Preparation Campaign is part of a community-wide effort to help 50,000 people escape poverty by 2020. We know it works, and with your help we can continue to serve more people each year.

How It Works

From January through April, United Way volunteers offer free, walk-in tax preparation assistance at libraries, Goodwill stores, community colleges and other public sites across King County.

For 2020 only, United Way is offering a 6-week volunteer opportunity (early March – mid-April). Volunteers will supercharge tax sites to be critical hubs for 2020 Census education and completion, as well as prepare taxes at our busiest sites.

Two types of volunteers are critical to the success of this program.

Tax Preparers

Volunteer Tax Preparers walk people through their taxes, making sure they receive all the credits they are eligible for.

Intake and Benefits Specialists

Volunteer Intake and Benefits Specialists help people get their tax paperwork in order and connect them to other financial services.

Every site also has a staff manager who checks volunteer work, ensures all returns are done correctly, answers questions and keeps things running smoothly.

What It Takes

You do not need any prior knowledge or training to volunteer. The most important requirements are a friendly attitude and willingness to commit three to four hours a week through mid-April. Good organizational skills are important, and tax preparers will need basic computer skills to learn our TaxSlayer software.

Ability to speak another language is helpful, but not required. Languages in high demand include Spanish, Amharic, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, and Tigrinya.

Training is offered on Saturday, February 29th and Sunday, March 1st:

  • New Tax Preparers must complete two full days of training to become IRS-certified and knowledgeable in tax law and our software.
  • Returning Tax Preparers are recommended to attend two days of training for a comprehensive overview of the TaxSlayer software—or complete most of their training online with a half-day of in-person instruction.
  • Census and Benefits Navigators must complete one half-day of training to learn the intake procedure for clients, how to screen for benefits eligibility and how to help clients prepare for the 2020 Census Questionnaire, including question navigation.

Still have questions? Email us at

Thank you to our generous sponsors: