PHOENIX – – The Education, Assets and Resources Now Coalition (EARN) of Box Elder, Rich and Cache Counties and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are looking for volunteers to provide free income tax help. Tax volunteers provide quality assistance to people who cannot afford to pay for tax help. “Volunteers will help low to moderate income families, seniors, the disabled and those with English as a second language prepare and file their income tax returns at absolutely no charge,” said Kori Shaw, IRS spokeswoman. Tax volunteers need no prior experience. Materials and tax instruction are provided at no cost and volunteers become IRS certified to prepare taxes. Volunteers learn how to electronically file tax returns, both federal and state, using IRS tax preparation software. Volunteers are asked to provide tax help a few hours each day, one or two days a week, from Feb. 1 through April 15. Community tax volunteers help taxpayers claim benefits available to them, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and other new tax items available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “For example, if a person works, doesn’t make a lot of money, less than $48,279 and hasn’t had any federal income tax taken out of their paycheck, the Earned Income Tax Credit can make a refund happen,” said Shaw. “But you can’t get the credit unless you file a tax return.” Additional community volunteers are needed as ‘greeters’ to assist with scheduling and screening clients to make sure they have their tax information in order. Last year across Utah, 816 tax help volunteers at 95 free tax help sites prepared 20,794 individual income tax returns resulting in $21.1 million in income tax refunds. Similarly, EARN tax volunteers prepared 186 tax returns at four free tax help sites across Box Elder, Rich and Cache Counties resulting in $321,700 in refund money for area residents. This is your chance to help out locally in the community. For more information about becoming a Utah tax volunteer, dial 2 – 1 – 1 or register online at: utahtaxvolunteer.org.
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