Broward Tax Pro Provides FREE Tax Preparation Services
For many people, every day is a struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table. Things are even worse for families with a family member who has a chronic health condition and needs expensive medicines. Even when working, these households are continually falling short.
Then comes tax time. Even if there is the possibility of an IRS refund, these individuals and families worry how they will pay tax preparation fees, and they wonder if the tax preparer is really looking out for their best interest.
With all this in mind, United Way of Broward County partners annually with Broward Tax Pro and numerous organizations in our community to provide FREE tax preparation services. Clients qualify if they have a household income below $66,000 a year.
Broward Tax Pro’s certified tax preparers are volunteers from the community who undergo extensive training before ever meeting with clients. “They provide excellent training,” said Manuel, a retired retail manager who has been volunteering for four years. “It’s not easy. You have to pass numerous tests, do background checks, so much more. But I like to help people, and this is a great way to do it.”
Manuel met with clients in person prior to the pandemic, then helped clients online, and now is resuming face-to-face meetings. “The process is relatively simple if the customer is organized, but some cases are complex. What’s most important is accuracy, because so many people count on using their refund to pay bills.”
Manuel said he has helped several clients receive refunds of $4,000 or $5,000. “But I get more out of it than what they get from me,” he said. “My biggest reward is when someone struggling to make ends meet, gets a break…when someone is afraid they are going to have to pay, but instead gets a big refund.”
Russchelle, a program coordinator at a local social-service organization, is a client who has benefited from the commitment of tax preparers like Manuel. This year will be her fifth time participating in the Broward Tax Pro program. “It has gone very well,” she said. “They are really organized and help you through the process. Everything ran smoothly, and I even received a small refund. I tell everyone I know to use Broward Tax Pro. It’s a wonderful free service.”
This year, Broward Tax Pro is offering services in person at locations across Broward County. Preparers speak English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. To learn more about Broward Tax Pro, click here.