It’s time to pull together all the year-end tax documents, and enter a bunch of numbers in hopes of getting a refund.

For low to moderate income families who can’t afford hefty fees United Community Action Partnership (UCAP) is again offering free tax preparation clinics in the communities of Hutchinson, Jackson, Marshall, Redwood Falls, Willmar and Windom, but it takes a lot of people with big hearts to make it happen.

“Our tax clinics are volunteer driven,” said Michelle Jensen, UCAP’s family services manager. “They can’t happen without the help of people in our communities.”

UCAP offers tax clinics in partnership with the United Way of Southwest Minnesota, United Way of West Central Minnesota, the state department of revenue, the Internal Revenue Service, the IJ Burich Family Foundation and other community partners to ensure that tax payers receive their full tax credits and refunds.

People don’t need tax knowledge to volunteer.

“We provide training so that anyone can become an IRS certified tax preparer,” Jensen said, “but we also need volunteers to greet people and help make sure they are prepared for their appointment.”

Training for the volunteer tax site positions is scheduled to take place in several locations throughout the month of January. Anyone who is interested in learning more can contact Jensen.

Tax clinics have been growing over the last several years, and that trend is expected to continue this year. Jensen hopes enough people will step forward this year to keep up with the demand.

“A few hours of someone’s time can, literally, put thousands of dollars back into the households that need it most,” said Jensen.

Those who are interested in learning more about the program or would like to sign up to volunteer, can contact Jensen at (507) 847-2632 or taxstaff@unitedcapmn.org.

Photo courtesy of the UCAP Web site