Free Tax Prep Coalition offers help

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The partners of the Lorain County Free Tax Prep Coalition are ready to help thousands with tax returns and filing services.

Their goal is to offer an alternative to paid preparers for low and moderate-income workers.

Families and individuals can avoid paying filing fees on returns by using one of the coalition’s four tax preparation sites located throughout Lorain County or by using www.myfreetaxes.com.

Trained and IRS-certified volunteers prepare and file federal and state income tax returns at no charge with professionalism and confidentiality. The volunteers use a system for preparing the returns that was created by the IRS.

Last year the coalition filed 1,868 federal returns, and the same number of state returns, bringing back more than $2.3 million in federal refunds to Lorain County,” said Christine Matusik-Plas, community impact director for United Way of Greater Lorain County. “However, it is estimated that only 10 percent of those eligible are actually taking advantage of these services.”

Tax filers saved roughly $500,000 in preparer fees by using the Lorain County Free Tax Prep Coalition’s services, she said.

The coalition helps families and individuals who, in general, made about $60,000 or less in 2019.

Some partners, including AARP, are able to offer services to those who may have a higher income or additional circumstances.

Appointments are available at:

The Lorain Public Library Main Branch, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Ohio Means Jobs Lorain County, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

United Way of Greater Lorain County, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

You can get walk-in assistance at the Elyria Public Library West River Branch from 2-7 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays on a first come, first served basis throughout tax season.

Call 211 or 800-275-6106 to schedule an appointment and get information about sites and required documents.

More information on the Lorain County Free Tax Prep Coalition can be found at www.loraincountyfreetaxprep.org.

The coalition is funded through a grant provided by the Internal Revenue Service and is led by United Way of Greater Lorain County. Other partners include AARP Tax-Aide, Chemical Bank, the Lorain Income Tax Department, Elyria Public Library System, IRS SPEC, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Lorain Public Library System, Ohio Means Jobs and PNC Bank.