United Way’s Free Tax Prep Means More Money in People’s Pockets

Clients of United Way of Central Alabama’s VITA tax preparation program pose with 2024 volunteer Emma York.

Area residents have saved more than a quarter million dollars so far this year through United Way of Central Alabama’s (UWCA’s) free tax preparation program.

By April 30th, 1,138 returns were filed through United Way, including:

  • 914 returns prepared by volunteers on UWCA’s campus.
  • 54 returns prepared by student volunteers at the University of Montevallo.
  • 170 returns prepared online through MyFreeTaxes.com, a United Way program.

Using $250 as the average cost to prepare a typical tax return, UWCA’s free service has saved people a total of $284,500 so far this year. In addition, the total amount of refunds received by those clients was $1,155,071. This is money that they can use for a car repair, to pay an unexpected bill or to stock their pantry with groceries.

And more people are using the service. To date, 208 more returns have been filed through United Way’s programs than last year, said Judy Allen, Director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at UWCA.

“Every year, we are so pleased to provide this service to our neighbors,” Allen said. “We know many people feel anxious when tax season comes around, but we are happy to make filing their return as painless as possible.”

While the deadline to file federal and Alabama state taxes was April 15th, United Way still has staff and volunteers available to help anyone who missed the initial cutoff date. About one in 10 Americans applies for an extension each year.

For more information about how you can use United Way’s Free Tax Preparation services, go to https://www.uwca.org/our-work/financial-stability/tax.

Free tax prep is just one part of the many ways United Way works in the area of financial stability and career development. Just last year, more than 30,000 people received financial counseling, job-relevant skill training and other related services through United Way’s partners and programs.

For more information about UWCA’s work in financial stability and career development, go to https://www.uwca.org/impact/financial-stability-career-development.