For hardworking Utah families having your taxes prepared is something that happens like clockwork this time of year. I count myself among the many who anticipate receiving my income tax return each year so that I can pay off debt, stash some money for savings, and if my budget allows, plan a weekend getaway. The good news is that there is a way to get more out of your refund and have it prepared for free as opposed to paying high fees at retail tax shops. If you haven’t heard or utilized free tax preparation through the Earn It. Keep It. Save It. program – also known as VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – I am happy to pass along the good news!
Earn It. Keep It. Save It. is Utah’s statewide campaign to strengthen family financial stability through Earned Income Tax Credit Outreach, free income tax preparation, and asset development opportunities. In Tax Year 2014 (January – April 2015) 963 volunteers helped to prepare nearly 21,000 tax returns for Utah filers. All of our volunteers receive training and become IRS certified to prepare tax returns. And guess what? They are ready for you! If you make $62,000 or less you qualify to have your taxes prepared for free. You can do them online or have one of our IRS certified volunteers prepare them for you. We have over 80 free tax sites across the state so there is bound to be one near your home or your work. And if you want to prepare your own taxes online all you need is a computer, an email address, and all of your tax filing documents (visit UtahTaxHelp.org).
Our friends at 2-1-1 begin taking calls this week (January 19th to be exact) and can help you set up an appointment to have your taxes prepared for free. To get a complete list of our locations and to see if the site takes an appointment or will serve walk-in clients please visit UtahTaxHelp.org.
*Community Action Partnership of Utah leads the Earn It. Keep It. Save It. coalition.
Kate Rubalcava, M. Ed., is the former Earn It. Keep It. Save It. Program Director where she served from March 2013 to January 2016. She has recently transitioned to Utah Nonprofits Association where she will serve as Chief Executive Officer. She is a lover of nonprofits, community, and free tax services!