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Local Organization Offers Free Tax Help To Low-Income Families

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – W-2s are already going out as tax season quickly approaches, and for those who aren't sure where to begin, you can get some free tax help as soon as next week.

April 18 may seem like a long way away, but Tax Day will be here before you know it. If the thought of doing your taxes seems overwhelming or expensive, free help is available thanks to the United Way of Allegheny County and the Money In Your Pocket Coalition.

"What we do is we provide free tax preparation to low-to-moderate income families to make sure they can access valuable tax credits at tax time without having to spend any extra money out of their pockets," said Kiandra Foster with the United Way of Allegheny County.

Households with incomes of up to $54,000 a year qualify for free in-person tax prep. Families with incomes up to $62,000 are eligible for free online service at

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Last year alone, volunteers filed more than 10,000 tax returns, which resulted in $14 million in refunds for struggling individuals and families.

"We have IRS-certified tax preparers that can take care of everything for them, make sure they get their full refund," Foster said, "and they can spend that money, instead of on tax preparation, on anything else, basic needs, housing, food."

The free tax prep is available at a number of sites in Allegheny and the surrounding counties. As for volunteers, 80 people are still needed. And don't worry about having an accounting background, all volunteers are trained and IRS-certified.

"These are just civic-minded individuals who are comfortable using a computer and who have an extra 3 hours per week to dedicate to help people in their community," Foster said.

Dial 211 to be connected to the free tax service. Volunteers will begin scheduling appointments on Jan. 13.

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