Anchorage Free Income Tax Preparation Program Expands
ANCHORAGE -- 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.
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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.