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United Way offers free tax prep in Southwestern Pennsylvania

Jeff Himler
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bankrate.com

Eligible area residents can receive free tax preparation services at 27 sites operated by the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The program is under way and is available by appointment.

Households with an annual income of up to $54,000 may qualify for in-person tax preparation. Online tax assistance is available for individuals or families with a total annual income of up to $66,000.

This marks the ninth year the regional United Way organization has partnered with the IRS to offer the service.

“This campaign helps prevent low-income working people in our community from falling behind,” Kiandra Foster, program manager for United for Families, United Way, said in a news release. “The earned tax credits and refunds these individuals secure help families meet basic needs, such as putting dinner on the table or paying a utility bill or rent.

“This year, 446 volunteers have joined the effort and have become IRS-certified and trained to solve the tax problems and potentially find resources to help with other problems faced by people in our community.”

When participants schedule appointments, they can get connected to other services that assist with transportation, utility payments, emergency food, health care enrollment and child care or elder care.

In 2017, 457 regional United Way volunteers worked in excess of 22,000 hours to help prepare more than 10,000 tax returns, collectively saving participants over $1.7 million in tax preparation fees.

Westmoreland County sites where the tax service is offered include: Westmoreland Community Action offices, 226 S. Maple Ave., Greensburg, and 326 Donner Ave., Monessen; Westmoreland County Community College campuses, 130 Depot St., Latrobe, and 1150 Fifth Ave., New Kensington.

Allegheny County sites include the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches/Central Presbyterian Church, 305 Allegheny St., Tarentum; Just Harvest/Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus, 595 Beatty Road, Monroeville; Human Services Center Corp., 413 Penn Ave., Turtle Creek.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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