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Free tax assistance available

 

February 21, 2018 | View PDF

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Local Josh Helo, right, gets helps from a United Way of Snohomish County volunteer during one of the local United Way's tax site sessions last year on Feb. 16, 2017.

The United Way's free tax preparation program is back for its 12th year, this time with expanded locations including a new site in Arlington.

The program began late January and will continue until April 17 in Marysville and April 12 in Arlington.

Free help is available to any family that has earned less than $66,000.

In Marysville the program is at the Goodwill Job Training & Education Center at 9315 State Ave., Marysville.

They are available Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Arlington site is at the Arlington Community Resource Center at 18308 Smokey Point Blvd., Arlington.

They are available Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The United Way of Snohomish County provides the free tax preparation to support local families.

"We run the free tax prep program to help low-income individuals and families keep more of the money they earn and supplement their income through tax credits such as the EITC [Earned Income Tax Credit]," said Lynsey Gagnon, manager of impact integration at the local United Way and the one who organizes the tax program.

Gagnon said that families with low-income benefit from not having to pay to get their taxes done.

"When families come to our free tax sites they are able to save upwards of $400 in professional filing fees," she said.

The tax preparers also help families claim all the deductions they can, she said.

"Our tax sites are designed to ensure families receive all the tax credits and deductions they are eligible for," said Gagnon.

The preparation and filing are handled by workers at the sites, said Makenzie Landis, digital communications and media manager at the local United Way.

"Some people are too nervous to file their taxes by themselves," she said, "so this is a big help because we handle everything from start to finish."

Last year had only six sites around the county, main in city locations like Everett. However, this year the United Way has 12 sites, including the new Arlington site.

Because the United Way in recent years has changed their focus to supporting low-income families and families in poverty, they hoped to reach a greater amount of families this year.

"There was less access in rural communities," said Landis. "Low-income people may often lack the transportation to get to those other sites easily."

The additional sites are helping move people through the tax preparation faster, said Landis, and wait times have been shorter at many sites.

"We've been getting people in and out within 20 minutes," she said. "Which is a big help to low-income families as they don't have to wait their with their children for as long now," she said.

For more information on the United Way of Snohomish County's tax preparation program and for a list of what documents individuals should bring, go to uwsc.org/taxhelp.

 

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