The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
Subscribe
| more

Photo Gallery

Free Tax Prep for Northern Californians

thumb_2_TaxServices_600.jpg

Free Tax Prep for Northern Californians

Last year, the United Way led Earn It! Keep It! $ave It! (EKS) coalition of more than 20 partner organizations, including Catholic Charities, helped 5,200 individuals and families file their taxes for free and brought back $6.8 million dollars in refunds to our local economy. Free tax preparation began again on January 28th for households earning $54,000 or less. Tax sites are available throughout Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Humboldt counties. Tax clients can dial 2-1-1 to confirm their eligibility and make an appointment or visit unitedwaywinecountry.org to schedule an appointment online.

At tax sites, families and individuals receive free tax help from IRS certified tax preparers who are familiar with tax credits available to low-to-moderate income households. Some of these tax credits include the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit, potentially adding up to refunds as high as $9,000 or more. The average EKS client federal refund last year was $1,824.

“This extra money makes a real difference to families, particularly when they’re struggling to make ends meet,” said Mike Kallhoff, President and CEO of United Way of the Wine Country. “Both credits help many families take a step up the economic ladder with often the biggest one-time financial infusion they will see all year – an opportunity to save, pay down debt, open a college savings account or start an emergency fund.”

“Even more significant than income, planning and saving have demonstrated increased long-term financial stability for families,” said Len Marabella, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa. “We want to reach people at the time they are receiving a tax refund or paying a large tax bill to offer information and services to help them climb out of poverty.”

Thanks to a new partnership with Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa tax clients will also be offered the chance to leverage that refund and access additional benefits and services through the new United Way and Catholic Charities Savings and Credit Ready Initiative. The purpose of this new initiative is to bring greater financial stability to the residents of our region. These additional services include benefit enrollment, financial education, credit repair, and matched savings.

While the EITC is proven to be one of the most effective tools to help individuals and families climb out of poverty, it is not enough to ensure individuals and families have long-term financial stability. According to a United Ways of California report, Struggling to Make Ends Meet, one in four families in Sonoma County and one in three families in Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino County struggle every month to meet their basic needs. Households led by people of color, particularly Latinos and single mothers are disproportionately impacted. 

For more information about EKS and available tax credits or to see if you qualify for free tax preparation, dial 2-1-1 or visit unitedwaywinecountry.org.

 

Tax Sites in Sonoma County (all subject to change) 

Guerneville
River to Coast Children’s Services
16300 1st St, Guerneville
Sat 9a– 1p

Petaluma
Petaluma People Services Center
1500 Petaluma Blvd So
Mon & Wed 2:30–5:30p; Fri 1-4p

Rohnert Park
Rohnert Park Senior Center
6800 Hunter Drive
Days and times TBD

Sonoma
La Luz Center
17560 Greger St.
Mon & Wed 6-9p

Windsor
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
8400 Old Redwood Hwy 
Mon 5:30-7:30p Sat; 9a-12p

Santa Rosa
Catholic Charities Admin Bldg
987 Airway Court
Mon 3-7p

Community Action Partnership
1300 N Dutton Avenue
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu 5-8p; Sat 9a-1p

Empire College
3035 Cleveland Ave
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu 2:30-5:30p
Fri & Sat 9a-1p

Goodwill Redwood Empire
651 Yolanda Ave
Sat 9a-1p
Roseland Elementary School
950 Sebastopol Rd
Tue 5-8p

Sonoma County Human Services Capricorn
2227 Capricorn Way #100
Tue & Thu 5-8p

Sonoma County Human Services
Paulin: 2550 Paulin Dr
Mon & Fri 5-8p: Sat 9a-1p
United Way of the Wine Country
975 Corporate Center Pkwy, Ste 160
Wed 5:30-8:30p

GIVE. | ADVOCATE. | VOLUNTEER. | LIVE UNITED™   www.unitedwaywinecountry.org
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/unitedwaywinecountry

The following locations provide free tax services through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Service:

Cloverdale Senior 

Multipurpose Center
311 N. Main St., Cloverdale

Thu 10a-1:30p thru Apr 14
(707) 894-4826

Council on Aging
30 Kawana Springs Rd., Santa Rosa

Fri 10a-3p Appointment only
Mar 11 & 25, Apr 8

(707) 525-0143

Franklin Park Clubhouse
2095 Franklin Ave., Santa Rosa

Mon thru Thu 9a-3p thru Apr 8
(707) 490-4025

First United Methodist Church
Stony Point Campus,

2150 Giffen Ave., Santa Rosa
Thu 9a-2p thru Apr 14
(707) 578-5931

Healdsburg Regional Library
139 Piper St., Healdsburg

Wed 10a-3p thru Apr 13
(707) 433-3772

Oakmont Village
6633 Oakmont Dr., Santa Rosa

Mon (Rm D) 9a-3p
Wed (Rm G) 9a-3p thru Apr 13
(707) 539-1611

Petaluma Community Center
320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma

Mon 9a-2p thru Apr 18
(707) 778-4380

Rohnert Park Senior Center
6800 Hunter Dr., Rohnert Park

Fri 8:30a-1p thru Apr 15
(707) 585-6788

Rincon Valley Library
6959 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa

Fri 1p-5p thru Apr 15
(707) 537-0162

Sebastopol Vets Memorial Bldg - SCA
282 High St., Sebastopol
Thu 9a-2:30p thru Apr 14
(707) 799-2254

Spring Lake Village 
Montgomery Center
5555 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa

Tue 9a-2p Appt only thru Apr 12
(707) 538-4851
 

St. Helena Public Library
1492 Library Lane, St. Helena

Thu 10a-3p thru Apr 7
(707) 963-5244

Vintage House Sonoma
264 1st St. East, Sonoma

Mon & Wed 9a-12n thru Apr 18
(707) 996-0311

Windsor Senior Center
9231 Foxwood Dr., Windsor

Thu 9a-1p thru Apr 14
(707) 838-1250