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.

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.

Learn a new skill, and help a fellow Alaskan. We are currently looking for 20-40 people in the Anchorage area who are willing to go through the training and to volunteer at a free tax prep site between February and April 2014. Opportunities also exist for those outside of the Anchorage area. Classes begin December 12th.

Volunteer Recruit Flyer-Anchorage-JPEG-FINALA volunteer preparing taxes for about six hours a week during a tax season saves households more than $9,000 in tax preparation fees!

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.

Join us!

April 15 Free Tax – Media Advisory

Free Federal Income Tax Preparation and Advice will be available on Monday, April 15th from 12 noon until 11 pm at University Center – West End Lobby.  Volunteers with Assistance Resources of Alaska, the IRS, AARP Tax-Aide, United Way of Anchorage and the University of Alaska Accounting Club will present “Procrastinator’s Last Stand” for the 25th year.

Volunteers will be on hand to assist Alaska taxpayers with last-minute, free tax preparation, explanation of forms, tax questions, electronic filing, assistance with copying and help on tax matters. A Post Office drop box also will be available at this site, making it a one-stop process to get your taxes filed on time.

Last year, more than 200 people were assisted on Tax Day at University Center. Without this assistance, many people likely would not file, might lose their refund, or could rack up penalties for failing to file on time.

A HUGE thank you to local businesses that donate copiers, printers, computers, space and supplies for this event:

University Center, Lewis & Lewis, Office Products Services, U.S. Postal Service, University of Alaska Anchorage, Carrs/Safeway, AARP, United Way of Anchorage, Assistance Resources of Alaska and the Internal Revenue Service.

Join us at Crosspoint Community Church, 1920 West Dimond Boulevard on Saturday, April 6th from 10 am to 4 pm for free tax preparation, mini-workshops (beginning at 10:15 am), advice on everything from jobs and education to how to improve your credit score and be a better renter and shopper. Kid’s activities, free snacks-and we’ll do your taxes for free!

April SS Flyer