United Way of the Lakeshore Announces Free Tax Filing Tool and Personal Support for ALICE

(MUSKEGON, MI) – Today, United Way of the Lakeshore announced two free options for people to file their income taxes. The online system is MyFreeTaxes, a product of H&R Block. It allows most filers to complete their taxes online in under one hour. For those seeking in-person help, Goodwill Industries in the Lakeshore Region administers VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that uses MyFreeTaxes to file taxes for taxpayers needing assistance. Income eligible people are invited to schedule an appointment by calling 2-1-1.

The United Way has partnered over the past decade with H&R Block and Goodwill Industries of West Michigan to provide free tax filing services for federal and state taxes, the partnerships have helped people file their returns, bringing more refunds back to help their families in our local communities. These resources are a direct benefit to ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These people work across the Lakeshore Region yet struggle to meet their families’ basic needs.

“Tax season is a source of confusion and stress for most Americans,” said Christine J. Robere, President & CEO, United Way of the Lakeshore. “Many are worried they’ll make a mistake, won’t get their full refund or will pay too much. With MyFreeTaxes, filers can get support from IRS-certified specialists and cut down the time it takes to complete their returns online.” Robere added, “Otherwise, income tax filers who want personalized customer service can feel free to call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment with a VITA specialist to have their taxes prepared in person. Either way, these are two wonderful options to help people file their taxes and put money in their pockets.”

Taxpayers earning less than $66,000 can either call 2-1-1 for a personal appointment, or enter their data through MyFreeTaxes.com. This links to a secure H&R Block website, making it easy to complete their federal and state taxes from home, at work or on mobile devices. It offers unlimited, personalized real-time chat and phone support in English and Spanish from IRS-certified specialists at 1-855-MY-TX-HELP. The helpline operates from January 22 through April 30, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, and from noon to 9:00 p.m. EST on Saturdays.

United Way of the Lakeshore is uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities. Our Bold Goal – 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025. For more information, contact United Way of the Lakeshore at 231-722-3134 or visit www.unitedwaylakeshore.org.