Tax season is just around the corner and the Aroostook CA$H Coalition is ready with free tax preparation services for the residents of Aroostook County.

The Coalition will be offering their services in Fort Kent, Presque Isle, and Houlton, beginning in early February.

The Aroostook CA$H Coalition is a consists of 13 partners and supporters working together to help empower individuals and families to achieve long-term financial stability. Aroostook CA$H stands for Creating Assets, $avings, and Hope.It's coordinated by United Way of Aroostook and is being sponsored by The County Federal Credit Union.

This is the program's 8th year. Taxes will be prepared free of charge for low to middle income households earning less than $56,000, saving clients upwards of $200 if they had their returns done professionally. Last year the program helped just over 1,000 clients and helped to realize $1.1 million in returns and refunds to the County.

Aroostook CA$H can also offer clients the opportunity to meet one-on-one with volunteer Opportunity Guides/Cash Coaches to share programs and resources aimed at reducing the client’s debt and increasing their savings. This part of the program was established by New Ventures Maine and CA$H Maine to educate individuals and families about available classes and local resources which can help them to become financially stable and independent.

The program uses almost 60 volunteers who make the program possible. Site Coordinators Sandra Bartley and Timothy McMahon provide trainings to ensure all volunteer tax preparers are IRS certified. Volunteer Coordinator Athena Hallowell trains schedulers, greeters and opportunity guides.

To set up an appointment or for more information about the program, call the United Way office at 207-764-5197.

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