United Way offers tax advice for 2022 production season


STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) – United Way of Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro will begin offering free tax preparation and assistance to people with household incomes below $57.00 starting Tuesday. The organization said there are several things to keep in mind when filing this year.

“It’s important that everyone files a tax return, even if you don’t have a tax filing requirement. We recommend that in the event of identity theft or there are possible credits, perhaps income stimulus plans or the earned income credit that you may be eligible for but have not been previously eligible,” said Samantha Bosserman, director. of Community Impact for the United Way of Staunton, County of Augusta and Waynesboro.

United Way typically helps with over 1,200 tax returns per year. He estimates that there are over 15,000 households in the SAW area who are eligible for the service.

Their appointments fill up quickly, so those who need to register should do so quickly, especially in a year when it’s more important than ever to file early.

“The tax authorities are saved. There are still people who haven’t received their refunds from last year, and that’s just due to staffing issues and challenges at the IRS, so it’s really in their hands. But we’re advocating that anyone, if you have your tax documents available and ready, go ahead and schedule an appointment and file as soon as possible,” Bosserman said.

Another important thing to keep in mind when filing is whether you received the Child Tax Credit in 2021, which was expanded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

“This is going to change and adjust a lot of the returns that are coming in this season this year, so please make sure that if you receive this letter, if you elected to receive the Advanced Child Tax Credit, please bring it with you. so we can make sure it’s on your return properly,” Bosserman said.

Those who received the Child Tax Credit in 2021 will likely see lower tax returns this year. The Tax Policy Center estimates that the average family received nearly double the amount of the 2021 child tax credit compared to previous years.

For those filing taxes on their own, United Way said it’s important to be careful and watch everything, as there are a number of common mistakes people make when filing.

“A lot of problems arise if there is undeclared income, or if someone has several different jobs and they don’t declare all of that income. We really have to make sure that’s accurate and then all the challenges that can come with aging dependents and things like that,” Bosserman said. “It’s really important to make sure you have the information from the past year.”

She added that ultimately the most important thing to remember when filing is to be patient in what can sometimes be a long process.

“We know the IRS is backed up, so just make sure you get your returns early and make sure you have that accurate return, making sure you’re aware of the economic stimulus and tax credits children’s advances you received, it will help ensure that tax season is a smooth one for everyone,” she said.

The deadline for filing tax returns is April 18.

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