(01/24/13) - Get out those W-2's. We're talking tax season.
Saturday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., the Genesee County Tax Coalition is holding its annual Show Me the Money kickoff event at Courtland Center Mall in Burton.
"We want to let them know about all of the tax sites we have that will be doing free income tax preparation. We do city, state, and federal filing for folks. It's all done for free," said Carlos Cisneros, Genesee County Tax Coalition chair.
Beginning in February, the tax coalition will have seven offices open across Mid-Michigan.
"Last year, we did around 2,700 returns. We expect to do as many. We still have the same group of people that come to us, a lot of seniors who are filing to get their home heating credits, their rent credits, or their property tax credits," Cisneros said.
All of the Coalition's tax preparers are volunteering their time.
"The very nice thing is we have a collaboration with our friends at UM-Flint, with Mott, we have CPAs. We have tax preparers that have been doing this for many, many years," Cisneros said.
As far as bringing home big money, Cisneros says that could be a little tricky this year.
"The state of Michigan, there will be fewer deductions available on the state side, but there are still major earned income tax credits on the state side, so it's always important to file," he said.
Cisneros recommends double and triple checking for those often overlooked smaller deductions. Find a bunch, and they'll add up.
"If you have children in school, there's the American Opportunity Credit, there's other credits like tuition fee deductions. When you come to our offices and fill out a questionnaire, our software just triggers those alerts and finds those deductions," he said.
The Tax Coalition wants to stress that free preparation doesn't mean flawed preparation, or that you'll get audited. All of it's volunteers are certified by the IRS.
"We've never seen that happen in all the years we've been doing this. Most of the people that come in qualify for a lot of deductions, and we ask all the right questions as well," Cisneros said.
For more information, and for a list of free tax prep sites, click HERE.
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