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File your taxes free with the help of Walmart, United Way and others

Great news for anyone who makes under $58,000. You'll be able to file your taxes for free, including free tax prep, thanks to a $4 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to United Way Worldwide, One Economy and the National Disability Institute. This is the second year for the free tax prep program, which allows Americans who meet the criteria to get free assistance at community locations and online at Myfreetaxes.com.

According to the Walmart Foundation, last year's program provided more than 650,000 people with tax prep, and helped them save over $950 Million in tax preparation fees, refunds and tax credits.

Walmart's grant this year will allow these three organizations to expand their operations and help more Americans file for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This is an important tax credit for low income workers, designed to offset the effect of payroll taxes, but it is often forgotten.

"EITC can be a financial boost for working people hit by hard economic times," said Julie Garcia, Director of the IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication division, in a Walmart press release. "One in four eligible taxpayers overlooks the credit and this partnership is helping those who need it most."

According to the Walmart Foundation, taxpayers can receive assistance in one of the following ways:
  • United Way Worldwide will assist Americans who earn less than $49,000 with free tax and EITC filing at 91 community-based tax preparation sites.
  • Tax-payers earning less than $58,000 per year can take advantage of the Myfreetaxes.com national tour. Equipped with One Economy's online tax filing technology and IRS-trained tax professionals, the tour will visit 30 communities across the U.S.
  • The NDI's Real Economic Impact Tour will assist qualifying taxpayers with disabilities who earn $49,000 or less. Funding from the Walmart Foundation allows NDI to expand its disability-inclusive tax assistance programs, including making free tax preparation sites and online tools accessible to disabled filers.
Taking advantage of this help is easy. Just find a location near you, gather your tax forms, and you are good to go.

Just because you're getting your taxes done for free doesn't mean that the individual helping you is any less qualified than those who charge to do your taxes. The individuals working at these locations are IRS trained and take pride in what they do. WalletPop took a look at the VITA program last year to showcase the people who volunteer their time to offer free tax preparation.

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