When it comes to financial planning tools, what’s better than easy? Free!
As part of its efforts to increase broad-based economic growth and financial stability in the Charlotte region and across the country, United Way provides a suite of resources to help people everywhere achieve their financial goals.
“Every person in every community deserves the opportunity to improve their finances, boost their job prospects and improve their economic status,” said Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide. “United Way is determined to help more people become financially stable by providing them with the education and tools they need to get ahead and provide for themselves and their families.”
United Way offers the following free - and easy - financial management resources:
Free Tax Filing:
• Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) centers offer free in-person tax preparation across hundreds of communities for qualifying individuals, generally those who made less than $54,000 in 2016. United Way partners with VITA sites include Community Link and Goodwill. Find a VITA center near you by clicking here.
• MyFreeTaxes: United Way operates and manages MyFreeTaxes, a resource powered by H&R Block, that provides free federal and state tax preparation online to qualifying individuals (those making $64,000 or less in 2016) in all 50 states. File your taxes at any time, day or night, at MyFreeTaxes.
>> Tax Fact: Since 2009, these in-person and online options have helped millions of Americans receive more than $10 billion in tax refunds and save over $2 billion in tax preparation fees, largely by connecting taxpayers to the credits they deserve such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which is available to qualifying individuals and couples, particularly those with children.
Financial Education and Coaching – United Ways support free, un-biased financial education and coaching to help individuals and families manage their money, decrease their debt, and improve their credit. These programs are outcome-oriented and yield positive results. For example, since 2012, Wells Fargo has supported the financial coaching efforts of eight United Ways, who have helped more than 20,000 low-income families get on more solid financial ground.
MySmartMoney - United Way and the Sun Trust Foundation launched MySmartMoney, a website that offers useful tips and tools to help people better manage their money, regardless of their income level or financial circumstances. The website walks users through simple, concrete steps for tackling real-life scenarios, including saving for college, providing for a family, planning for a retirement, and caring for aging family members.
Veterans Resources - The Simple Dollar created an in-depth tax guide designed specifically for veterans to help them recognize the benefits they receive, including updated information for the 2017 tax season. Beyond tax tips for veterans, the site also lists the federal exclusions, taxable benefits and state benefits a veteran receives.