Share the Word About Free Tax Preparation Services

While we BirminghamMoms might be confident preparing our own taxes or consulting with a professional tax preparer, there are many Alabamians who forfeit hard-earned dollars by claiming their tax refund through a check cashing, refund loan, or similar service. As is always the case, it is those who can least afford the fees who often use these services.

What many don’t fully realize is that they’re being charged an outrageous interest rate for what amounts to a cash advance on their return. They receive relatively little benefit, because although they do get a portion of their tax refund right away (what’s left after fees and interest), they could file electronically and receive their full amount in only a few short days.

The United Way’s Financial Stability Partnership of Alabama is offering free tax preparation by certified tax preparers in locations throughout Alabama. Reminding clients, “You’ve earned it, now keep it,” the FSP aims to educate more citizens about the program in hopes they will realize it’s worth waiting a bit longer to receive their full refund.

Most of us moms are in frequent and regular contact with the sometimes struggling, low-to-moderate income earning citizens of our communities. Consider an average day, when we might converse with our child care worker, volunteer alongside school lunch room employees or custodians, and chat with a familiar food service worker or store clerk. If you know someone who you suspect could benefit from free tax preparation service, why not tell them about the tax preparation service available to them?

All they need to do is dial 2-1-1 or call 1-866-869-4921 to find a local certified tax preparer. They’ll receive instructions on what they need to bring to their appointment. In addition, if they made less than $58,000 in 2009, they may qualify for tax credits for dependent care, earned income, and Making Work Pay, a program specifically designed for those who are in low wage earning categories.

Every day we rely on hard workers whose efforts we may personally value beyond their compensation in the marketplace. Share this free tax preparation information with them so they can keep what they’ve worked so hard to earn.