Friday, June 19, 2009

Volunteer Tax Clinics Help Get Money to Local Residents and Community

About three quarters of a million dollars could hardly be more welcome than in a year such as this. More than 500 people in the Marshall area are sharing in the benefits of this cash. No, it's not a lottery windfall; it's the collective total of state and federal tax refunds filed this year through the local tax assistance clinics. Thanks to the energetic leadership of Western Community Action Agency, a nonprofit community action program headquartered in Marshall, and with supporting partnerships from the Marshall Area Financial Empowerment Collaborative and United Way of Southwest Minnesota, plus volunteers from Southwest Minnesota State University and others, the free income tax assistance clinics posted a sizable increase in service contacts and refunds this 2008 tax season. The grand total of $741,951 includes federal and state refunds as well as earned income credits, education credits and child tax credits coming to eligible individuals and families.

An interesting note: Tax clinic consumers were asked to complete a short survey as they left their session with the volunteer tax preparer. Responses indicated their plans for the refunds. No. 1 Goal - Pay Bills; No. 2 Goal - Build Savings.

Posted by Lois Schmidt, NRS, Willmar

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