A little help with taxes goes a long way: Sara’s Story
“We were living paycheck to paycheck and were about to get evicted from our house. Our tax refund made it possible to pay rent and keep a roof over our heads.”
Sara came to Robert Morris University to file her taxes with a volunteer tax preparer, through United Way’s Free Tax Preparation initiative.
Sara told her tax preparer she has three children, but the tax volunteer noticed just two children had been claimed on Sara’s last two tax returns. Sara was under the impression she could only file for two dependents maximum. Her tax preparer quickly explained to her this was not the case and helped her file this year’s return, including all three dependents. The money Sara got back from the Earned Income Tax Credit was substantially larger than past years.
“When I saw I would be getting almost $3,000 more than last year, I almost cried,” Sara said.
Sara thanked the volunteers at the tax site over and over. “Now we will be able to keep a roof over our heads and buy the children some new clothes,” Sara said. Sara will be back again next year to get the help she needs to file her taxes.
To learn how you can volunteer as a free tax prep preparer, or if you need help yourself, visit www.uwswpa.org.
*True story based on tax preparer notes. Name has been changed to protect tax payer’s identity.