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Mayor's Corner

 Free Tax Preparation 

Posted On: 2/22/2010 


As mayor, that’s a word that comes up in many conversations and often elicits passionate reactions. As a private citizen and business owner, I associate that word with lots of forms and numbers. So my business turns our tax work over to the professionals. That way, we know the work is done thoroughly and on time.

For many Anchorage residents, paying for tax preparation isn’t a realistic option. The average cost of tax preparation is around $150. For those struggling financially, that money is more likely to be spent on housing, groceries, bills and other needs.

I’m writing today to inform residents about a program that offers free tax preparation for qualified low- and middle-income Anchorage residents, getting them the guidance they need and the returns they may have coming to them. The preparation is done by volunteer tax specialists and the free tax preparation sites are provided through a partnership between the IRS, AARP TaxAide, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and United Way of Anchorage.

Currently, there are eight free tax preparation sites spread around Anchorage, each offering different hours and days of operation which allows access for everyone. Last tax season, more than 3,000 Anchorage residents took advantage of the free tax preparation sites and saved more than $500,000 in preparation costs. They also earned $750,000 in tax credits and received more than $3 million in returns.

I hope Anchorage residents take advantage of this opportunity to file their returns properly and timely without worrying about whether they can afford it.

Click on this link or call Alaska 2-1-1 at 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221 for details on free tax preparation sites and Super Saturday.

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