Gene Wiemers helping Ruth Mueller with her 2015 taxes.
Last year, Midcoast CA$H helped return more than $730,000 in federal refunds and an additional $174,917 in Maine State refunds to taxpayers who needed to pay bills, mortgages, buy food, heating fuel, start a savings account or save for an education – all for free. Midcoast CA$H is a partnership of United Way of Mid Coast Maine, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and New Ventures Maine who, in collaboration with multiple community partners and volunteers, work to help low- and moderate-income Mainers make the most of their money. Midcoast CA$H offers free tax preparation to qualified filers during the tax season, and connects residents to financial education resources, including money management and home-buying workshops, Family Development Accounts (FDAs) and credit counseling.
Since 2007, Midcoast CA$H has worked with volunteers to become fully trained, IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers. Tax clients make appointments to have their taxes prepared at one of the tax preparation sites throughout the community, where returns are completed, reviewed by another tax preparer and electronically submitted to the IRS for the fastest return.
More volunteers are needed to become tax preparers. Volunteers like Colleen McKenna, a long time Midcoast CA$H IRS-certified tax preparer and Bowdoin College employee. Colleen became a volunteer after seeing information about the program in her local newspaper. “I’d always done our taxes and figured I could do it for other people too.” Site Coordinator Kelly Grant shared: “Anyone can do this and the rewards are amazing. This makes a direct, positive impact in the financial situation of our family members and neighbors. The recipients of these services end up with more money in their pockets to pay their bills, build their savings, and contribute to the local economy.” For more information about volunteering for Midcoast CA$H contact Ali at Goodwill, 207-289-7013 or [email protected] or visit www.CashMaine.org.