April 15 is rapidly approaching and families across Central Texas are hurrying to submit their federal tax returns. Each year United Way for Greater Austin partners with Foundation Communities through our Financial Opportunity program and our Navigation Center to prepare tax returns at no cost for families making $50,000 or less. Last year, the Community Tax Centers filed more than 16,000 returns, bringing more than $11M in Earned Income Tax Credits back to our community, and more than $27M in total federal refunds.
UWATX invests $100,000 in the Community Tax Centers for training, recruiting and managing 500+ IRS-certified volunteers. UWATX also supports the tax centers by providing all the location, time and documentation information over the phone through the UWATX Navigation Center.
One of the UWATX Navigation Specialists, Cathy Swan, has helped families find the nearest Community Tax Center for more than three years. Cathy is very familiar with the program since she has had her taxes filed at the center before.
“In 2009 I needed help filing my tax return. I went to the Community Tax Centers and they helped me get my full refund. In addition, my daughter was getting ready to apply for college and the Community Tax Centers helped us apply for FAFSA.”
Cathy was so pleased with the Community Tax Centers that she enjoys connecting other families through 2-1-1; she says “it’s a great feeling to give back this way.”
It’s not too late to get help filing the 2012 federal tax return. Families can call 2-1-1 for more information or go to myfreetaxes.com/uwatx. To find out how you can help bring back millions of dollars to the Greater Austin region, contact the Financial Opportunity staff.