This week marks the official start of 2018’s tax season, when the IRS begins accepting tax returns from last year. That means it’s time to get your documents in order, make a plan for your refund, and get your taxes done early so you can start to put that refund to work.
Clarifi is teaming up with our partners at Campaign for Working Families, Inc. (CWFI) to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers in the Philadelphia-area maximize their tax refund and get their returns prepared by IRS-certified preparers, free of charge.
The Campaign’s many free tax prep sites are open and ready to help you today!
Clarifi Counselor and Team Lead Kim Rogers has this advice: “Don’t wait until the last minute. Start developing a plan now. Ask yourself, ‘What do I need, where are my documents, when can I review everything, when should I file, what will I do with my refund?’ Tax time is less frustrating when you have a solid plan.”
Read on to learn more – and visit the tax help section of our website for details.
Who is eligible?
- Individuals and families with annual income less than $54,000 can get their taxes prepared free of charge by the team at CWFI at one of their locations in the area.
- If you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) you can get up to $6,318 back when filling your taxes this year. That’s a lot of money back in your pocket. We can help you manage and save your refund, create a spending plan, negotiate with creditors to arrange payment plans, check your credit and review ways to improve it. (Not sure if you’re eligible for EITC? Check here).
- Anyone – regardless of income level, or where you get your taxes prepared – can make an appointment with Clarifi to help plan for their tax refund and address their overall financial situation and goals. Call us at 267-765-2703 or visit myclarifi.org to get started.
How it works:
- CWFI operates a number of sites throughout the region, staffed by IRS-certified tax preparers, who will help eligible individuals and families get your tax returns filed FREE OF CHARGE.
- There is no appointment necessary at most sites (see listings for details). Customers are seen on a first come, first served basis, and all returns are completed by IRS-certified preparers.
- Tax assistance is available in multiple locations in PA and NJ, and in multiple languages as needed.
- Be sure to bring all the necessary documents with you. (View the full list here).
- People who go to one of three CWFI “supersites” –1435 Walnut Street in Center City Mondays-Fridays; 1415 N. Broad Street, Suite 222 Tuesdays-Fridays; or 2113 Cottman Avenue, Unit 47 in Northeast Phila. on Wednesdays and Thursdays - can meet with a Clarifi counselor on the same visit, when they get their taxes done, and get valuable financial guidance on everything from their current credit score to the best ways to allocate or invest their tax refund, to make it go father and achieve more of their financial goals.
- Keep in mind this year’s tax filing deadline is April 17 – but there are many good reasons to file your taxes early.
Why file early?
- The sooner you file your taxes, the sooner you’ll get your refund, if you’re entitled to one. (While there are no specific guarantees from the IRS, the overwhelmingly majority of refunds arrive within 21 days - and often much faster than that).
- Reduce your risk of tax fraud. Since the IRS will only accept one tax refund per social security number, filing early is the best way to prevent someone from filing a fraudulent return in your name. Given the massive scale of last year’s Equifax hack, we know that a large percentage of Americans had their information potentially exposed – so this year it’s even more important to be cautious.
- Less stress, once you check this major task off your list!
So let’s work together and tackle your taxes this year. Our counselors are ready and eager to help. Find the free tax prep site closest to you and get started!
More tips on tax time, and reasons to file early this year, from USA Today.