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3 On Your Side: Free Tax Preparation Sites

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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s the time of year that some of us love and some of us hate: tax time. It all depends on whether you’re getting money back or you owe the I.R.S.

Janean Williams wants to get it right. She says, “With all the tax law changes, it’s better that I have a professional look over it because I don’t want to make any mistakes.”

But this year, her tax return preparation isn’t costing her a penny. According to Williams, “In the past I paid $300; today it will be totally free.”

That’s because The Campaign for Working Families has opened up 11 free tax preparation sites around Philadelphia where returns are being prepared free of charge by I.R.S.-certified volunteers.

Sharmain Matlock-Turner, CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, says, “There is no reason for you to actually pay a lot of money to get your taxes done. Keep all that money in your pocket.”

Volunteers will even help fill out the paperwork for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can boost a refund anywhere from $1 to almost $5,900. One out of every five eligible tax payers fails to claim that credit.

According to Matlock-Turner, “Leaving money on the table at tax time is certainly something we don’t want to happen. We want to make work pay for working families.”

The free tax preparation isn’t available to everyone. Like the Earned Income Tax Credit, it’s income based and available to families who earned less than $51,000 in 2012 or for singles with incomes under $20,000. You can also file your taxes at one of 80 KEYSPOTS in Philadelphia that will provide you a computer and high speed internet access.

In addition, The United Way is partnering with agencies to offer free tax preparation at dozens of sites in several south Jersey counties and in Montgomery and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania.

For more, visit the links below:

www.CWFPhilly.org

www.unitedforimpact.org/our-impact/income/tax-assistance/vita

www.myfreetaxes.com

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