Successes from Free Tax Preperation
2018 Tax Season

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Kimberley of Natomas had paid $300 to have her taxes done each year by the same professional that filed her mom’s taxes. So when she learned from her Cal Fresh worker two years ago that she could get the same service for free from United Way’s Free Tax Prep program, she was eager to learn more.

“I had always thought the free tax service was something you did yourself, like a program you downloaded on your computer,” Kimberley said. “I didn’t want to DIY it, mess up and get audited. When I found out there would be volunteers helping me in person, I signed up.”

This year, Kimberley came to the Natomas Community Center’s lobby and an IRS-certified volunteer with United Way’s Free Tax Prep program was there to greet her and hand her the initial paperwork. Before she could even finish the paperwork, her name was called and another volunteer helped her finish and then file her taxes. She earned more than $2,000 in credits from the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the state version, Cal EITC. She plans to use the funds to boost her savings account.

“It was great,” Kimberley said. “It was nice not having to cough up money to get money.”

Even more comforting than her padded savings account was the knowledge that each volunteer she worked with was certified by the IRS and that volunteers double-checked each other’s work. 

“I think some people just automatically go with the tax professional they’ve always gone to year after year,” Kimberley said. “I just want to say that you’re going to get the same professional service cost-free with United Way. Don’t be scared that they’re going to mess up your taxes. It’s even better because someone’s double-checking the work.”