Hundreds of working families could overlook valuable tax credits

Posted:  Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 8:15am
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Hundreds of low and moderate-income Midcoast workers could overlook important federal tax benefits because they simply don’t know about them.  Many people feel intimidated by the prospect of filing taxes and can’t afford commercial tax preparation. Thanks to the Midcoast CA$H’s IRS trained and certified volunteer Tax Preparers, these area residents can have those benefits identified and get tax forms completed, reviewed for accuracy and filed for free.

Last year, Midcoast CA$H volunteers helped return over $625,000 of value to the community through saved fees, refunds generated, volunteer hours and other services rendered at the sites.

For the coming tax season, Midcoast CA$H is looking for 10 volunteers to become Tax Preparers and five volunteers to become Greeters.

Tax Preparation volunteers work at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in Wiscasset, Bath and Brunswick, after successfully completing IRS training and certification and a local orientation. Volunteers prepare returns for eligible taxpayers and file them using electronic filing software. The tax preparation training program is comprehensive, all inclusive, and free. No previous tax preparation experience is needed. 

Gene Wiemers, a veteran tax preparer shared: “The success stories follow you home after every tax session and make it seem like one of the best volunteer opportunities around.”

Volunteers serving as Greeters are also needed to welcome taxpayers, help organize their paperwork, conduct client in-take, and manage the overall flow of service.

“While many of our volunteers return each year, we always need more people willing to become tax preparers. How many people we’re able to serve depends on how many tax preparers we have.” said Mary Ellen Barnes, United Way of Mid Coast Maine board member.

Midcoast CA$H coordinates the VITA program for the Internal Revenue Service in Midcoast Maine and is composed of organizations and individuals from the IRS, community social service agencies, businesses, banks, colleges and foundations. CA$H is an IRS funded program of the United Way of Mid Coast Maine in conjunction with Goodwill of Northern New England and New Ventures Maine with additional financial support from local banks and foundations.   

For more information about volunteering to make a substantial impact on the financial stability of eligible community members, call Ali at 699-0752 or email midcoastcash@goodwillnne.org. Your time spent volunteering can yield big returns.