Free tax prep is “the best thing I’ve ever come across”

In my work with UWATX, I’ve had the pleasure of helping thousands of Central Texans take a meaningful step towards financial security by opening bank accounts, encouraging savings and taking advantage of free tax prep. Recently, I got to speak with Sarah in La Grange who used (which is powered by H&R Block) to file her taxes for FREE. 

Sarah had just gotten back in town from Brenham where she works at the State Supported Living Center. Sarah has been living in La Grange with her husband and three kids (10,4, and 2) for the last ten years.  She grew up in the city and always knew she wanted to raise her kids in a rural setting with good schools.

 “It’s the best thing I’ve ever come across – I’ve encouraged all of my friends and family to prepare their taxes this way” – Sarah on

How were you getting your taxes done before this? What changed? 

I had been getting them done at retail tax preparers for years.  Last year, I paid $290 for my return.

This year, they whipped it up  in what seemed like no time at all and then asked for $315 plus a $35 fee for direct deposit. I can’t afford that, I have a husband and three kids, so I got up and walked out. 

What did you do then?  

I reached out to Workforce Solutions in La Grange, TX and they connected me to the United Way service.  I sat down at a computer and ten minutes later, I’d entered my W-2’s, captured all of my credits and saved $350. My husband was so excited! He couldn’t believe I had done it myself.

Why didn’t you use a tool like this before?

I had always been scared that she would miss some of my credits.  Those retail tax preparers scare you and make you think that you’ll get the most money back and you’ll miss your credits without them.  

This software walks you through each line item, ensuring that you don’t miss a thing.  It’s the best thing I’ve ever come across – I’ve encouraged all of my friends and family to prepare their taxes this way and even posted about it on Facebook. 

What will you do with your refund?

I plan on using it to get caught up on bills and then stash the rest in our savings account for whatever else might come up during the year. 

Talking to Sarah reminds me of the person on the other end of our work – as we invest in community tax centers and promote, we’re helping our neighbors keep more of their money. That’s work I’m incredibly proud to do. 

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