By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer
Here’s something to make tax season a little less painful: getting your tax return filled out for free.
The service, offered at three locations through United Way of Snohomish County, is open to anyone, but “our focus is really on low- and moderate-income working families,” said Deborah Squires, a spokeswoman for the local United Way chapter.
The tax services are offered in Lynnwood and at two sites in Everett. English-speaking tax preparers and Spanish translators will be available at all three sites, she said.
Translators fluent in other languages can be requested by calling 211, the county’s social service hotline.
At Cedar Valley Community School in Lynnwood, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese translators are available by appointment.
At North Middle School in Everett, Russian translators can be requested.
At the south Everett site on Casino Road, Korean, Thai and Chinese translators are available.
This is the third year the free tax service has been offered by United Way. Last year, the service assisted 1,008 people file their taxes, qualifying for $1.2 million in refunds.
“As the economy continues with its challenges, we think we’ll see people who might not normally come to the site are looking for that service,” Squires said.
The only restriction on the free tax preparation service is that it’s not available to any business owner or anyone who owns rental property.
Those seeking the service should arrive at the tax preparation site at least an hour before it closes, Squires said.
In addition to tax preparation, a new service is being offered this year at the Casino Road site. Budget counselors will be on hand to provide personal credit reports and to offer help in signing up for benefits such as food stamps, Squires said.
They also will encourage people to take a portion of their refunds and deposit it in a saving bond, “a good way for low income families to save,” she said.
The bonds are available in amounts as small as $50, Squires said.
Reporter Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or email@example.com.