Local Residents Save $397,000 in Tax Preparation Fees
For Fredericksburg resident Cynthia White, paying someone hundreds of dollars to prepare her taxes is not an option. Getting her taxes prepared for free by Rappahannock United Way is a service she’s depended on for the last five years.
“I retired in 2015 and get Social Security, which is not very much,” said White. “I have a nice little part-time job that’s making ends meet. This service is important. I always thank them for being here for us – for those who can’t afford to have their taxes done.”
Rappahannock United Way spent this past tax season helping White and thousands of others with a household income of $64,000 or less prepare their state and federal taxes at no charge. IRS-certified Rappahannock United Way staff and volunteers filed 2,012 tax returns, saving local residents $397,000 in tax preparation fees this year. 719 of those tax clients also received free financial coaching while waiting to have their taxes filed.
“Our vision at Rappahannock United Way is to have a community where individuals and families are able to achieve their full potential through education, financial stability and healthy living,” said Sarah Walsh, Vice President of Community Impact at Rappahannock United Way. “We offer free tax preparation and financial coaching to help people keep more of their hard-earned money, help them obtain all the tax credits and deductions they qualify for and guide them when it comes to paying down debt and building their savings.”
White appreciates the convenience of the service.
“I don’t drive,” said White, who used Rappahannock United Way’s tax site at Headquarters Library in downtown Fredericksburg. “The biggest thing is it’s free. It’s in a nice location and the preparers are very nice. I love the people.”
Rappahannock United Way trained 93 tax volunteers, who gave 1,720 hours of their time to help people like White file their returns. Tax clients received $1.8 million in tax refunds and put $115,000 into savings accounts.
“We’re so thankful for our tax volunteers,” said Walsh. “They truly care about the people in our community who need help filing their returns. Our volunteers love seeing smiles and even tears of joy when a tax return means someone can afford a much needed car repair or allows them to pay medical bills that have been piling up. For some people, a tax return is life changing.”
Rappahannock United Way is always looking for tax and other volunteers. Learn more!