Free services available locally to help you file taxes this spring

Feb 13, 2019

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Local officials are urging families who qualify to take advantage of free services while filing their taxes this year.

Mayor Lovely Warren said she wants to make sure residents are accessing all of the tax credits they qualify for.

"Our message is this: Claim what you are owed, then put this money to work for your family, yourself and your future," Warren said.

Some could find free filing help through the CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) program, which has been running since 2002 by the Empire Justice Center.

Berta Rivera, the director of CASH, talked about how the program does more than just taxes.

"We build relationships with the families that are here," Rivera said. "We're able to talk to them each one on one. Connect them to different local community resources that are here. We also talk about asset building with them. Allowing people to open bank accounts. To choose to save money. To purchase savings bonds. To learn about how to buy a home."

This year, the Bausch and Lomb Library Building on South Avenue is hosting the program. Appointments are encouraged due to high demand.

To qualify for that program, total household income must be less than $55,000 for families with qualifying children and less than $40,000 for childless workers.

But anyone making up to $66,000 can file for free online at myfreetaxes.com, supported by the United Way.

Jamie Saunders, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Rochester, talked about how all the money saved and returned during tax season can benefit the community.

"Millions of dollars returned to the area and reinvested in our economy. Millions of dollars returned to hard-working individuals and families who are empowered to help themselves and provide for their loved ones."

Taxes can be filed anytime between now and April 15.