Western Maine CA$H is celebrating its 15th anniversary of free tax preparation by IRS-certified local community volunteers. Western Maine CA$H is one of 10 coalitions in Maine. There are more than 50 non-profit and for-profit partners involved in CA$H Maine. CA$H Maine offers free tax preparation as well as empowerment of Maine individuals and families with financial know-how, to keep and grow resources and financial assets, and in turn, climb the economic ladder for long-term stability.
Last year CA$H Maine assisted more than 5,000 Maine households with free tax preparation and access to resources which helped them save money and make the most of it. More than $6 million in federal refunds were brought in to those who participated in the free tax preparation through CA$H Maine.
“The process was easy and well managed. My taxes are pretty basic, but this program was able to help me with a few more complicated aspects of my taxes. I was able to use the money I saved towards other important things, like my family,” said Alison, a first-time user of Western Maine CA$H Coalition’s free tax preparation program in 2016.
Volunteer preparers are trained to look for individuals that will qualify for federal tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. $2.5 million in EITC refunds were received last year by those individuals which were eligible to participants in the free tax preparation sessions made possible by CA$H Maine.
In greater Franklin County, free tax preparation for eligible filers (those with a household income of $54,000 or below) begins on Jan. 26 and runs through March 23.
The tax site will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon on the third floor of Roberts Learning Center at the University of Maine at Farmington. While walk-ins will be served as time permits, please schedule an appointment to ensure tax preparer availability. Call 207-778-7954 or [email protected] to make an appointment.
Western Maine CA$H Coalition members and supporters include: The University of Maine at Farmington; United Way of the Tri-Valley Area; Bangor Savings Bank; New Ventures Maine; Western Maine Community Action; Key Bank, Franklin Savings Bank, the Internal Revenue Service, community members, and the John T. Gorman Foundation.