Waco, TX – January 17, 2018 – Armed with the message, “It’s Tax Time. Go Get Your Refund!” NeighborWorks Waco and the AARP Tax-Aide Program are spreading the word about free income tax preparation for Central Texas taxpayers.
IRS representatives have indicated that some $10 million in refunds are left on the table in a given tax season; these refunds can be desperately needed money for McLennan county residents, with nearly 20% of families in the area living in poverty (according to a 2016 American Community Survey). For those families struggling under the weight of holiday bills, their tax refund is often the best chance to stop the cycle of debt in its tracks. Last year, over $6 million dollars were refunded to Central Texans in the form of tax refunds, child tax credits, and earned income tax credits – much in thanks to programs such as the AARP Tax-Aide Program.
NeighborWorks Waco supports the AARP Tax-Aide Program, which has been servicing Central Texas by providing free tax preparation for over 20 years, and even houses one of the sites in their offices. “We are pleased to provide year-round office space and tax preparation space during the tax season for our friends in the AARP Tax Aide Program,” comments Roy Nash, President and CEO of NeighborWorks Waco. He continues, “this has been an excellent collaborative program for us over the past 12 years, as we have seen thousands of low and moderate-income taxpayers participate each year, while also receiving several million dollars in income tax refunds for the community each year. It is really a win-win-win program for all involved!”
Many of the same individuals and families return to have their taxes prepared year after year; these clients express great gratitude for the assistance and impeccable service the volunteers provide. AARP volunteers spend many hours in training specific to tax laws and returns each year, on-site assistance, and administration of the local programs. “The best part of this program is giving seniors and low-income folks the opportunity to have their taxes done correctly. Many are not in a position to go to a paid tax-preparer. That extra $200 or $250 can be used for groceries, bills, whatever they need!” says Sal Tahiri, Technology Director for the region’s AARP Program,”that’s why we [the volunteers] keep coming back. There’s always someone out there who needs our help.” Last year alone, the AARP sites provided over 1,500 families in McLennan County with tax preparation services, saving Central Texas families over $350,000 dollars in tax preparation fees based on an average commercial fee of $250 per tax return.
Any family or individual is eligible for free tax preparation services, although sites may not be prepared to review more complex returns, such as those who own rental property or are self-employed. For more information about the 2018 Tax Preparation Schedule, click here.