MOUNT VERNON — Many local residents who need help filing their 2012 income tax returns can take advantage of free tax preparation assistance offered by United Way of Knox County. United Way’s tax assistance program began six years ago with the goal of increasing the financial stability of local residents. Millions of dollars in tax credits, such as the Earned Income Credit, go unclaimed by Knox County residents each year. The EITC helps individuals and families with low to moderate income keep more of what they earned. This is money that could be used to purchase necessities and boost savings.
This free tax assistance allows clients to save tax preparation fees in addition to claiming tax credits for which they may be eligible. Last year, United Way volunteers assisted 390 clients in filing federal income tax returns over four years, representing $572,574 in refunds and a savings of more than $78,000 in tax preparer fees.
In order to aid residents in claiming this money, United Way has partnered with The Ohio Benefit Bank. The Benefit Bank operates a web-based program which walks clients through preparing their tax returns. One-on-one volunteer tax preparation assistance is provided or residents may visit uwayknox.org and click OBB serve-self to complete your taxes free of charge in the their own home.
Returns are e-filed and, if eligible, residents may receive refunds through direct deposit in less than 21 days. Assistance in preparing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is also available.
Those who qualify can schedule appointments, Tuesday through Friday, at United Way’s office at 110 East High Street in Mount Vernon. Daytime and evening appointments are available. To qualify for preparation assistance, you must have had a gross household income of less than $60,000 in 2012. Also, The Benefit Bank cannot support rental, real estate, farm, Schedule C business, and clergy income, as well as most capital gains.
To confirm eligibility and to schedule an appointment, call United Way at 740-397-5721 extension 101.