The issue: A statewide nonprofit agency is working with university students to complete tax returns at no charge for eligible families.
The dreaded income tax season is not so ominous for families in line to receive refunds, but it can be difficult to pay for professional tax preparation services.
A statewide nonprofit agency is working with university students again this year to provide the service at no charge for eligible families. This includes families earning less than $50,000 a year who have children in the household and families earning less than $20,000 a year without children at home.
In northwest Alabama, the SaveFirst Initiative is working with 35 accounting-major students from the University of North Alabama to provide the service. Stephen Black, founder and president of Impact Alabama, which oversees the project, said personnel of the agency check behind the students’ work. It is solid experience for students who may someday prepare tax returns for a living.
Black said the program is aimed at helping families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the federal government’s largest anti-poverty program for low-income working families. Since the SaveFirst Initiative began seven years ago, it has trained more than 450 students from 15 colleges and universities to prepare returns for more than 5,100 families in Alabama. These families have saved more than $1.5 million in tax preparation fees and received more than $9.2 million in refunds, Black said.
The free service is available through March 2 at Weeden Elementary School, 400 Baldwin St., Florence. The site is open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-888-998-2925.
We encourage Shoals residents to take advantage of this great program and to tell others about it. Tax season is not so bad for families who will receive a federal income tax refund, especially with free preparation assistance available.