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United Way of the Great River Region offering free tax filing assistance

Sue Prochazka in her office at United Way of the Great River Region.
United Way of the Great River Region
courtesy photo
Sue Prochazka in her office at United Way of the Great River Region.

Free help with state and federal income tax filing will once again be available in the tri states through the United Way of the Great River Region.

The organization is offering the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program in partnership with the IRS, the Iowa Center for Economic Success, and the Fort Madison Public Library.

“We are kept very busy throughout the tax season,” said Sue Prochazka, Volunteer and Community Engagement Specialist for the United Way.

She said the program provides income tax return assistance for senior citizens, low- and middle-income families (those making less than $64,000 per year), and those who don’t have computer access.

The process begins by making an appointment for a meeting by calling 319-520-6859. The meetings are held to determine whether a person qualifies and to gather information.

Appointments are now being accepted for in-office and curbside meetings at sites in Keokuk and Fort Madison on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The curbside option was first offered during the pandemic and remains the preferred choice for some people.

“Basically, we go out to a person’s car with a clipboard and we have them fill out the intake sheet and get their permission to do their taxes” Prochazka said.

She also said the tax filing program has grown in popularity.

“I think it’s because it allows folks to maximize their refund. And also we’re not charging for any of the services,” she said.

Prochazka said the United Way of the Great River Region began offering the program ten years ago, when they helped around 50 tax filers.

Last year they helped a bit more than 300.

The tax returns are prepared by IRS certified volunteers and staff members, who will also file the returns electronically.

The United Way of the Great River Region serves Clark, Hancock, and Lee counties, but it has also helped filers from other counties in the past.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.