Volunteers sought for United Way’s free tax preparation site in Lynnwood

As part of United Way’s IRS-approved free tax preparation program in 2014, volunteers are needed to help South County working families keep more of what they earn.

All volunteers will receive training from United Way and will become certified by the IRS. In addition to tax preparers, United Way is also looking for volunteer greeters and intake screeners.

Cedar Valley Community School will once again be hosting the free tax preparation site in Lynnwood. Volunteers who are multilingual are greatly needed.

The deadline for volunteer registration is Nov. 30. Trainings will be held in December and January. Each volunteer will be asked to contribute three to five hours a week from Jan. 21 until April 15. For more information and to volunteer, please visit uwsc.org and click on “volunteer.”

The program is designed to help working families prepare their income tax forms for free, raising awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), child care and other available tax credits while avoiding fees associated with for-profit tax preparers.

“Volunteering with the free tax preparation program is tremendously fulfilling, as you get to help people directly,” said Bob Malone of Mukilteo. “The looks on their faces when you have made a significant positive impact in their lives is unforgettable.”

Last year, Malone volunteered at a free tax preparation site in south Everett. This will be his third year as a volunteer with United Way’s tax preparation program.

In 2013, at the Lynnwood site, volunteers prepared 407 tax returns and helped working families claim $905,000 in federal refunds, including nearly $300,000 through the EITC. They saved customers an estimated $79,000 in tax preparation fees. Across Snohomish County, 104 volunteers dedicated over 3,800 hours to United Way’s Free Tax Preparation Program.

Since 2007, United Way volunteers have prepared over 12,000 tax returns throughout Snohomish County and helped Snohomish County working families claim $20.4 million in refunds.

United Way of Snohomish County will operate three Free Tax Preparation Program sites in Everett and one in each of the towns of Monroe, Marysville and Lynnwood from Jan. 21 to April 15, 2014.

At the free tax preparation sites, customers will also be able to sign up for public benefits and learn about opportunities to make the most of their tax refunds. The Free Tax Preparation Program will provide taxpayers with information about asset building resources such as credit counseling, savings bonds and health care options, as well.

The Boeing Company, Washington State Department of Commerce, Goodwill, the Walmart Foundation and the Internal Revenue Service are United Way’s Free Tax Preparation Program’s primary sponsors and partners.

The Free Tax Preparation Program is part of United Way’s efforts to help ensure Snohomish County families become and remain financially stable. Other components of the program include access to public benefits and other wealth building products and services.

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