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Central Health and Foundation Communities Focus on Removing Tax Filing Fear

(Austin) – Central Health is working with Foundation Communities to make tax season less stressful for Travis County residents with low income and busy lives.

The partnership will provide a safe space at the Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Drive to obtain expert tax preparation assistance, free-of-charge.

“Filing federal income taxes can be confusing and intimidating for all of us,” Central Health President & CEO Mike Geeslin said. “But for people juggling jobs, family, school and other priorities – and perhaps who don’t fluently speak English or understand income tax requirements – the burden of filing taxes can be downright frightening. We want to remove the fear to file.”

The Community Tax Center at the Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center, and six additional locations in Travis County, opened Jan. 20 and will remain open through Tax Day, April 15. Services are available to anyone who earns less than $55,000 per year, but income eligibility increases for families with four or more people.

Since 2006, Foundation Communities has helped more than 250,000 Central Texans file their taxes. Last year, Foundation Communities helped more than 20,000 families secure over $35.3 million in refunds.

All volunteers are IRS-certified and trained to help residents prepare and file taxes, and answer questions to ensure clients receive every eligible tax credit and deduction. Foundation Communities recommends taxpayers who claim earned income tax credits and the additional child tax credits file their taxes early due to a new tax law intended to prevent fraud. However, the new law also requires refunds on these returns to be held until mid-February.

“This is our fifth year to partner with Foundation Communities and offer this service at Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center,” Program Director Elizabeth Marrero said. “Last season, we prepared tax returns for 1,442 families who received $2.5 million in tax refunds. However, we believe there are more families that could benefit from the services if they just knew about them.”

Services are available in Spanish, English, and American Sign Language. Taxpayers should bring their photo ID, Social Security card, W-2, and proof of health insurance.

Appointments at the Central Health Southeast Health and Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Drive, Austin, TX 78741, are on a walk-in basis. The center is open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 – 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fridays.

For more details and the full schedule, visit ProsperTaxHelp.org.