Stretching Your Dollar: You could be eligible to file your taxes for FREE

SYD: Free tax filing

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The IRS has begun processing returns and refunds for 2018.

Did you know, if your household income is below a certain amount, you don't have to pay to file?

Many Americans feel a little uneasy about filing their taxes, especially this year with new tax reform laws.

You may want to file right away, especially if you're expecting money back, but don't want to pay the upfront costs to get the paperwork done.

There is a way for taxpayers to file for free.

If your household brings in $66,000 or less per year, you shouldn’t be paying to file online.

The United Way said they receive grants to cover the costs and would rather see your money being spent on things you need.

“Between United Way of Greater Toledo and LISC, we both apply for some national grants as well as a lot of local banks who really invest in this program, because they think it’s really important to allow families to have kind of the best start to that year and that eliminates that fee for a tax preparer when they really don’t have that fee to spend," Vice President of Community Impact at United Way Toledo, Emily Avery explained.

Not computer savvy? If you make $57,000 or less and would like some help filing, call 211 and they will get you an appointment with someone to help you file in person.

At many of those appointments there are also trained advisors to help you decide where your refund can be best used whether it’s to pay off debts, or toward something like a down payment once you receive it.

"Around tax prep time we actually have the scheduling go right through 211, so it's a really easy way for someone who's looking for tax preparation to just simply either dial 211, and ask them to schedule them for an appointment, or there's actually a chat feature that you can type in and talk one-on-one with someone," Avery said.

Avery said, there’s no rush to take advantage of this program. In the 10 years it has been offered, there have always been enough resources. So if you’re waiting for your last tax documents to come in, you shouldn’t have to worry about missing out. Just make sure you keep the documents in a safe place, and file when you’re ready, prior to the tax deadline of April 15.

IRS Free File pairs Americans with a group of industry-leading private-sector tax prep companies that provide free commercial online tax preparation and electronic filing.

And, it’s safe. Your information is protected from any unauthorized access while it is sent to the IRS.

You can get more information by calling 211 or by visiting here.

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