Impact Alabama to offer free tax preparation services

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

Impact Alabama is offering free tax preparation services for working families in Lee County at the Boykin Community Center in Auburn and Greater Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Opelika. Free income tax preparation services are available to working families making less than $52,000 a year with children in the home or $20,000 a year without children in the home.
Kendra Wright, regional coordinator for Impact Alabama, said the program has seen a good response from the Auburn/Opelika area in years past.
“We’ve always gotten a really good response from the area,” Wright said. “Especially from the students that work with us from Auburn University.”
Interested individuals should call 1-888-99-TAX-AL (1-888- 998-2925) to schedule a free appointment. Tax services are provided by students from Auburn University. Alabama residents interested in scheduling a free tax preparation appointment should call 1-888-99-TAX-AL. Daytime, evening and Saturday hours for tax preparation are available.
The tax preparation service is aimed at assisting families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is the federal government’s largest and most successful antipoverty program for low-income, working families. Each year, Lee County families pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to commercial tax preparers simply to access this benefit or worse, go to tax preparers who may not realize they are eligible for this benefit.
Impact Alabama’s SaveFirst initiative, as this tax preparation service is called, is in its ninth year of operation. Last year, over 570 trained students from more than sixteen Alabama campuses prepared tax returns for more than 8,200 families in cities across the state. Its statewide campus collaboration helped these working families secure more than $14.9 million in tax refunds, and saving them over $2.5 million in commercial tax preparation fees.
Wright said the program benefits working families in two main ways.
“Our first main benefit that we have is that we help combat the predatory tax services that pop up throughout tax season,” Wright said. “Also, for most taxpayers, their refunds will be the biggest paycheck they will receive throughout the year, and many times it can help boost taxpayers above the poverty line.”
Impact Alabama, an AmeriCorps® Program, is housed at the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama.
Auburn’s Boykin Community Center is located at 400 Boykin St. in Auburn.
Opelika’s Greater Peace Missionary Baptist Church is located at 650 Jeter Ave.

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