Monday, April 9, 2012

Earned Income Tax Credit: Jeff and Rita Helping Families Save Money

Jeff has been working to provide free tax preparation for the past seven years, the past four of which have been spent at CASH Oregon’s Lloyd Center free tax preparation center as a site coordinator. Nearly all the people that visit the site qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette provides funds to help those clients receive the credit.

“Most of the people we help here are either surprised or delighted that they’re receiving a considerable refund or they’re counting on that money to help pay family bills,” Jeff said. “The way I see it, my job has two goals, first to make sure our clients are following all the tax laws to keep them out of trouble with the IRS and second to make sure they pay out as little as possible as allowed by tax law to help them better support their families.”

Rob Justus, Executive Director of CASH Oregon commends Jeff’s tireless efforts to save low income families money and ensure their taxes are filed correctly. “Jeff created the bar that all our tax sites adhere to for quality control,” said Rob. “Jeff developed a training course for all our tax volunteers on quality control and he makes sure we score 100% in site IRS audits meaning that all the tax returns we do are accurate.”

Rita is one of the volunteers who works three days a week to help prepare taxes for lower income individuals and families. “I enjoy being able to help people so much that I often stay so long into the evening they have to kick me out!” Rita said. “My mother used to volunteer doing tax preparation so last year I decided I wanted to help too and took the four 8 hour classes needed to become a certified tax preparer and I just love it.”

This tax season, the CASH Oregon site in Lloyd Center Mall is on track to file 3,000 returns for free, which would set a record for this location. They are expecting to file 16,000 free tax returns at all the 53 CASH Oregon tax sites combined thanks to over 300 volunteer tax preparers like Rita.

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