For decades, local families and individuals have repeatedly filed taxes only to leave money on the table, and that’s where most of us have it wrong, according to Goodwill. “Self Filing” is when an individual bypasses traditional tax-prep services and decides to do one's own taxes. This can leave significant money in the hands of Uncle Sam, instead of snuggly in your bank account. According to Goodwill’s tax preparation service, one in five residents of Washington State will miss vital entitlements, leading to lower returns this year. According to Goodwill Communications Manager George White, this fact has repeatedly “been observed by the professionals involved with this program the past two years of the program, and we want to change that.” A ribbon-cutting event held last week represented the addition of this facility as a local tax preparation center.
It’s quite simple: Do you make less than $54,000 per year as an individual? Less than $64,000 per year as a household? Then filing with Goodwill will be free of charge for you. Even if you earn more than $64,000 as an individual, you can come down and use the electronic work stations with a trained tax-assistant and all for free. It’s a blessing for so many people, being able to not only save a bundle of funds on tax filing fees, but to simultaneously be assured that they will attain their maximum return possible. With the partnerships that Goodwill has put in place, you can be assured that you will receive only the best and most professional tax service possible. Key Bank, AARP, the IRS, and even local tax services have dedicated, knowledgeable and highly intuitive preparation services to the effort of providing high-yielding, free-of-charge tax returns this year.
There are roughly 75 facilities in Western Washington currently providing similar free to low-cost tax-prep programs. With over one million households qualifying for this program, community members are encourage to take advantage of this program and its professional assistance. In addition to providing these great tax prep services, Goodwill is also educating the community about issues topping the list for this year’s tax season, including identity theft, fraud and the scariest of all, the delayed tax return. Goodwill, and its assistants are there for every last dollar you are owed, or even have been owed. Did you miss an entitlement on last year’s taxes? You can find that out as well. Due to a provision in tax laws, citizens eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can now claim earned returns for up to three years prior.
In order to use these tax services, or find out if you’ve left some money on the table from years prior, you must bring any number of pertinent items with you: W-2 forms, 1099 forms (interest, earnings as an independent contractor), unemployment form, proof of childcare payments, state issued I.D. in mostly all cases, last year's return (if applicable), and relevant bank account information for direct deposit such as account and routing numbers.
The location is at Goodwill’s Milgard Work Opportunity Center at 714 S. 27th St. It runs weekly between Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30-7 p.m., and will be processing tax returns and advising the community from now until April 18, although extending services through the end of summer isn’t out of the realm of possibility, with last year’s services being held through October.