Free Tax Program Partnership
United Way of Aroostook is pleased to announce a new partnership with The County Federal Credit Union to sponsor the 2018 Aroostook CA$H Coalition and the Free Tax Return Preparation Program.
The County Federal Credit Union’s vision is to deliver valued education and financial solutions which improve the economic well-being of its members. This vision is closely related to the goals of Aroostook CA$H. Aroostook CA$H stands for Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope. It is a partnership of community partners working together to help empower individuals and families to achieve long-term financial stability. The Coalition offers free tax preparation to qualified filers during the tax season as well as educates families and individuals about programs in the community that can increase their income, reduce their debt, and help them to build their savings.
“The County Federal Credit Union has a long history of collaboration with the United Way of Aroostook,” said Dan Bagley, Executive Vice President of The County Federal Credit Union. “The CA$H program offers a tremendous benefit to the Aroostook County community, and we are proud as a credit union team to sponsor this program and provide our employee volunteer support.
This is the sixth year United Way and its partners have offered the free tax preparation program to Aroostook County citizens. Each year, taxes are prepared free of charge for low to middle income households earning less than $54,000, saving clients upwards of $200 professional preparation costs. These services will be offered at three locations throughout Aroostook County beginning in early February: Fort Kent, Presque Isle, and Houlton. Site Coordinators Sandra Bartley and Timothy McMahon have provided trainings to ensure all volunteer tax preparers are IRS certified. Clients can feel confident that they are being taken care of in a most professional and skilled manner when taking advantage of this service.
“This program served over 500 households last year and of those 500, more than 300 were senior citizens,” shared Sherry Locke, Executive Director for United Way. “The program helped to recover nearly half a million dollars in refunds which went back to the people of Aroostook. We are extremely happy to offer this program and hope to grow it by serving upwards of 700 households."
In addition to free tax preparation, United Way and Aroostook CA$H are proud to be able to offer taxpayers a “next step” to help them set financial goals which will help them make the most of their refund. Opportunity Advisors from The County Federal Credit Union will be on hand to meet with clients after they’ve had their tax return prepared to discuss savings, debt reduction, and budgeting. This piece of the program was established by New Ventures Maine and CA$H Maine to educate individuals and families about available classes and local resources which help them to become financially stable and independent.
United Way of Aroostook is offering this service in Presque Isle on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning February 6th; in Houlton on Wednesdays beginning Feb. 7th; and in Fort Kent on select Saturdays (Feb. 17th, March 3rd, 17th, 31st, and April 7th). To set up an appointment or for more information about the program, call the United Way office at 207-764-5197.
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