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March 29 Super Saturday Event

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Free Tax Prep Opens in Anchorage

United Way logo - new - Nov 2013Anchorage, AK – Tax season may not be most people’s favorite time of the year, but thanks to free tax preparation services in Anchorage, getting those Federal income taxes done on time and correctly is easier than ever.

 This year, Anchorage residents have nine free tax prep sites to choose from, and three options if they want to file their taxes online with some assistance. Three Super Saturday events are planned, including one today at Northeast Community Center, combining free tax prep with activities to entertain the kids and financial information booths offering advice and information on ways to boost your income.

“Free tax preparation is one way we can help more Alaskans on the road to long-term financial stability,” said United Way of Anchorage President Michele Brown. “Filing your taxes on time, making sure you get the maximum refund and seeing if you qualify for the EITC is critical for everyone, but especially for those who are living paycheck to paycheck.”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that 15 percent of Anchorage residents qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) but fail to apply for it when they file their Federal Income Taxes. That’s just one reason why United Way of Anchorage is working with partners like AARP-Tax Aide, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Internal Revenue Service and others, who have offered free tax preparation for qualified Alaskans for more than 30 years.

This tax season, Alaskans can take advantage of free tax preparation by IRS-certified volunteers at eight sites around Anchorage and one in Chugiak/Eagle River. Free Self-Assisted Tax Sites, which allow people to do their own taxes online for free with some assistance, are at Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s (AHFC’s) Gateway Learning Center (440 East Benson), and Job Centers in Muldoon (1251 N. Muldoon Road, Suite 111) and Midtown (3301 Eagle Street, Suite 101). Taxpayers who made less than $58,000 in 2013 can file their taxes online for free at www.MyFreeTaxes.com/Alaska – with assistance available by phone, email and chat.

Last year, the Anchorage Free Tax Preparation Program helped more than 5,200 Anchorage area residents file their taxes for free. They received $8.8 million in refunds and EITC credits amounted to $1.8 million. Over 600 people who said they were disabled were assisted and tax preparers were able to refer 774 households for food assistance, most of who did not realize they qualified for help.

Most free tax preparation sites open the first week of February, and each is open on different days and times through April. A second Super Saturday event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 22, at Salvation Army Community Center in Midtown and a third event will be on Saturday, March 29 at Crosspoint Community Church (near Burlington Coat Factory) in south Anchorage. See a list of all of the free tax sites (attached), as well as a list of what to bring with you when you are having your taxes prepared.

Taxpayers have until April 15 to file their tax returns this year. The partners supporting this effort include: AARP Tax-Aide Foundation, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), United Way of Anchorage, the University of Alaska Anchorage, Walmart Foundation, the National Disability Institute, the faith-based community, individual volunteers, nonprofits and government service providers.

For more details on tax preparation sites, contact Alaska 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221, join us on Facebook and visit the website at www.FreeTaxPrepANC.com.

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About United Way of Anchorage
United Way of Anchorage creates opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the
key building blocks for a good life: education, income and health. The goal is to create
long-lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. United
Way invites everyone to LIVE UNITED, to be part of the change through giving,
advocating and volunteering. For more information about United Way of Anchorage, please visit www.liveunitedanchorage.org.

 

 

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Rack Card - Side 2 - JPEG fileHere are all of the places you can get your taxes done for free. Call 2-1-1 before you go or check this website to figure out what paperwork you need to bring with you.

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Volunteer Tax Preparers Needed

United Way logo - new - Nov 2013AARP Foundation Tax-Aide and United Way Anchorage Launch Recruitment Campaign
ANCHORAGE – How good would you feel if you were able to help an Anchorage family save some money and get onto the road to financial stability? That great feeling of “making a difference in someone’s life” is what organizers have to offer to new volunteers. The group kicked off a recruitment campaign this week in hopes of finding new Southcentral Alaska area volunteers to prepare taxes in 2014.

“Our program has grown in popularity, and the number of people volunteering has dropped,” said Jan Watson, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide state coordinator for Alaska. “We are searching for people who have the time and desire to prepare basic taxes to help some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.”

No prior tax experience is necessary. Volunteers do need some computer knowledge, must have an email address and need to have the time to attend classes. Then, they’ll be asked to volunteer at one of seven sites open across Anchorage during the tax season. Schedules are flexible and volunteers get to choose what day and work sites work best for them. A volunteer preparing taxes for approximately six hours a week during the tax season saves households over $9,000 in tax preparation fees.

Last year, over 40 well-trained tax preparers filed Federal tax returns for over 5,200 residents at no charge to the taxpayer. With an average tax preparation fee running approximately $300, it is estimated that this service saved Anchorage residents more than $1.5 million in tax prep fees and delivered $8.8 million in refunds back to Anchorage families and our local economy. This year’s goal is to assist everyone who requests help with filing a tax return, within the scope of the program, without having to turn people away or ask them to return another day.

Training for volunteers starts December 12. For more information, or to sign up as a potential volunteer, visit www.aarp.org/volunteer and click on the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Volunteer box. Complete the application, and a volunteer coordinator will call you with more information.

Learn more at www.FreeTaxPrepANC.com, on Facebook or by calling 2-1-1.

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About United Way of Anchorage

United Way of Anchorage works to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks for a good life: education, income and health. The goal is to create lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. United Way invites everyone to be part of the change. GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. LIVE UNITED. Please visit LIVEUNITEDANCHORAGE.org.

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ANCHORAGE – May 6, 2013 – The numbers are in! Over 5,200 Anchorage area residents and military members had their taxes prepared for free this year, and they received $8.8 million in refunds. Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), amounted to $1.18 million. Over 600 people were assisted who said they were disabled, and tax preparers were able to refer 774 households for food assistance who didn’t realize they might qualify for assistance.

“Financially struggling families get a triple benefit from going to the free tax prep sites: They maximize their refunds. They save on tax prep costs. They get information and referrals to other services. These all boost each family’s financial stability. And, those benefits ripple out into the local community as the $8.8 million in refunds gets used for goods and services,” said United Way of Anchorage President Michele Brown.

Many of the people who got their taxes prepared for free also connected with information about credit counseling, getting a better job, financial education opportunities, shopping for better nutrition, homeownership and food assistance programs.

This was the first year that Anchorage area taxpayers had a new option to file online for free at five free self-assisted sites and a total of 190 people chose the online alternative.                    

Some of the most popular free tax prep sites included Northeast Community Center, Anchorage Senior Center and the AARP Office.  Credit Union 1 in Mountain View and Chugiak Eagle River Senior Center both saw increases in demand.

More than 246 taxpayers used the last-minute free tax preparation and advice offered on April 15th at University Center during Procrastinator’s Day. Volunteers E-filed returns on the final day and filed taxes for prior years, provided paper returns for some and helped others file for extensions.

Free tax preparation is made possible in Anchorage by a collaboration between United Way of Anchorage, the IRS, AARP Tax-Aide Foundation, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), the University of Alaska Anchorage, Wal-Mart Foundation, the National Disability Institute, the faith-based community, individual volunteers, nonprofits and government service providers.

Details about the free tax preparation can be found at www.FreeTaxPrepANC.com, on Facebook or by calling 2-1-1.

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About United Way of Anchorage

United Way of Anchorage works to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks for a good life: education, income and health. The goal is to create lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. United Way invites everyone to be part of the change. GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. LIVE UNITED. Please visit LIVEUNITEDANCHORAGE.org.

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Join us!

April 15 Free Tax – Media Advisory

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It’s easier than ever for Anchorage residents to get their Federal Income Taxes prepared for free. Additional free tax prep sites, a new online option and several self-assisted sites are being offered in Anchorage and Eagle River this year. Three Super Saturday events are planned that combine free tax preparation with mini financial workshops, children’s activities and a wealth of information about ways to boost your income.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that 15 percent of Anchorage residents qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) but fail to apply for it when they file their Federal Income Taxes. That’s just one reason why United Way of Anchorage is working with partners like AARP-Tax Aide, who have offered free tax preparation for qualified Alaskans for more than 30 years.

This tax season, Alaskans can take advantage of free tax preparation at eight sites around Anchorage, three sites in Chugiak/Eagle River and at three Super Saturday events. Free Self-Assisted tax Sites, which allow people to do their own taxes online for free with computers and assistance available, have been expanded to four locations. These sites include Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s (AHFC’s) Gateway Learning Center (440 East Benson), and Job Centers in Muldoon (1251 N. Muldoon Road, Suite 111), Midtown (3301 Eagle Street, Suite 101) and Eagle River (11723 Old Glenn Highway). Taxpayers who made less than $57,000 in 2012, and who do not need help, also can file their taxes online for free at www.MyFreeTaxes.com/UWAnch.

Last year, the Anchorage Free Tax Preparation Program helped more than 5,600 Southcentral Alaskans to file their taxes for free, and organizers hope to help even more individuals and families in 2013. Last tax season, Alaskans who filed from free local tax preparation sites saved more than $900,000 in preparation costs while being guided to over $1.7 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and ultimately receiving more than $10 million in returns.

“Helping individuals and families save the cost of preparing their taxes is just one way that we can help get more Alaskans on the road to long-term financial stability,” said United Way of Anchorage President Michele Brown. “Filing your taxes on time, making sure you get the maximum refund and seeing if you qualify for the EITC is critical for everyone, but especially for those who are living paycheck to paycheck.”

Most free tax preparation sites will open the week of February 1 in neighborhoods around Anchorage, offering a variety of operation times and days; all 11 sites will be open by mid-February. In addition, the first Super Saturday event is scheduled from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, January 26, at the Northeast Community Center (1251 N. Muldoon Road). Super Saturdays also are scheduled for Saturday, February 16 at Salvation Army Community Center in Midtown and on Saturday, April 6 at Crosspoint Community Church (near Burlington Coat Factory) in south Anchorage. See a list of all of the free tax sites (attached), as well as a list of what to bring with you when you are having your taxes prepared.

Taxpayers have until April 15 to file their tax returns this year. Free tax preparation in Anchorage is made possible by a collaboration between United Way of Anchorage, the IRS, AARP Tax-Aide Foundation, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), the University of Alaska Anchorage, Wal-Mart Foundation, the National Disability Institute, the faith-based community, individual volunteers, nonprofits and government service providers.

For more details on tax preparation sites, contact Alaska 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221, join us on Facebook and visit the website at http://www.FreeTaxPrepANC.com.

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About United Way of Anchorage

 

United Way of Anchorage works to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks for a good life: education, income and health. The goal is to create lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. United Way invites everyone to be part of the change. GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. LIVE UNITED. Please visit LIVEUNITEDANCHORAGE.org.

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NEWS For Immediate Release

Date: March 28, 2012

Contact:  Kathy Day, 229-2470

Maureen Haggblom, mhaggblom@ak.org, 263-3823

 

Anchorage Free Income Tax Preparation Program Is Available to Help Alaskans Meet Tax Deadline

Anchorage, AK –Anchorage taxpayers have just three more weeks to file their Federal Income Taxes, but there is still plenty of opportunity to have them done accurately and free of charge, thanks to United Way of Anchorage and partners like AARP-Tax Aide.

Alaskans can take advantage of the Anchorage Free Income Tax Preparation Program at eight sites around Anchorage through April 17th. Tax sites are located at Anchorage Senior Activity Center, the University of Alaska Anchorage, First Free Methodist Church, Northeast Community Center, Spenard Rec Center, the AARP State Office, Credit Union 1-Mountain View, Crosspoint Community Church and on military bases. Days and hours vary, so check the schedule at www.FreeTaxPrepANC.com or call

2-1-1 to determine the date, time and location that is best for you.

One more Super Saturday event will be held on Saturday, March 31st at Crosspoint Community Church in south Anchorage. Bring the whole family for fun children’s activities, informational booths staffed by community service providers and local nonprofits, free money saving seminars and the opportunity to get your taxes done for free (hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., come early if you want to have your taxes done).  The Super Saturday site is disability accessible and a sign language interpreter will be available throughout the day.

Anchorage residents also can take advantage of the new FAST Tax Site also at Gateway Learning Center, 801 Karluk Street, where filers will have access to free computers and volunteers who can assist them in getting started with filing their taxes online.

The Anchorage Free Income Tax Preparation Program has set a goal of helping 4,500 area residents file their taxes (not counting military bases) in 2012. Last tax season, Alaskans who filed from free local tax preparation sites saved more than $900,000 in preparation costs while being guided to over $1.7 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and ultimately receiving more than $10 million in returns.

Taxpayers have until April 17 to file their tax returns this year because of Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia which falls on Friday, April 15.

Free tax preparation in Anchorage is made possible by a collaboration between United Way of Anchorage, the IRS, AARP Tax-Aide, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), the University of Alaska Anchorage, Wal-Mart Foundation, the National Disability Institute, the faith-based community, individual volunteers, nonprofits and government service providers.

For more details on tax preparation sites, contact Alaska 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221, join us on Facebook and visit the website at www.freetaxprepANC.com.

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About United Way of Anchorage

 

United Way of Anchorage works to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks for a good life: education, income and health. The goal is to create lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. United Way invites everyone to be part of the change. GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. LIVE UNITED. Please visit LIVEUNITEDANCHORAGE.org.

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