Settle Up with Uncle Sam for Free

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -  Have you filed your taxes yet? The deadline is midnight on April 15th. WHNT NEWS 19 took action to help you save money trying to settle up with Uncle Sam. Making good with him doesn't have to take "all" of your money.

In fact, whether you owe Uncle Sam or not, many believe you shouldn't have to pay to find out.

"I save where I can," said Shawn Brewer, a new business owner who's filing her taxes on her own for the first time this year.

"When most individuals go to a paid preparer, they spend at least $200 getting their returns completed," said Veronica Tucker of United Way of Madison County.

Thanks to non-profit organizations like United Way and Impact Alabama, Brewer won't have to pay to file them. She and at least one-thousand other taxpayers got their returns done for free through the Save-First Initiative, sponsored in part by WHNT NEWS 19.

"It's a free program for anyone who makes $50,000 or less," said Tucker.

She added since January, IRS-certified volunteers have been saving lots of people lots of money.

"Our site alone has brought back $2.5 million in returns. We eFile the returns, so the clients get their returns back in at least two weeks," Tucker said.

"I'm thrilled about it, that they offer this for so many reasons," said Brewer. "For the fact that I don't know what I'm doing and I'm really glad that it's a free service for our community. That's great."

Plus, Impact Alabama gives taxpayers another way to save money and win money.

"For every $50 savings bond that they purchase, they'll enter a chance to win a grand prize of $5,000," said Cherita Garcia of Impact Alabama. "We also have smaller drawings throughout the tax season, every week for $100 as well."

Garcia said taxpayers must keep the savings bonds for at least a year, at which time they'll be worth even more from acquiring interest.

Call 256-536-0745 and set up an appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays from now through April 15th.

They'll tell you which location to go to.

They do take walk-ins and they will take clients on Deadline Day, April 15th.

For residents outside Huntsville, you can also find free help filing your taxes.

VITA volunteers, sponsored by RSVP of Athens, are offering free tax preparations in Athens, Decatur and Ardmore.  The volunteers are trained by the IRS.

Taxpayers may have their taxes done at the Athens First Baptist Youth Activity Building on Clinton Street on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 AM to 4 PM from now through April 14th.

The Ardmore Public Library has volunteers available on Wednesday afternoons by appointment only. Call 931-427-4883.

Decatur Public Library on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 – 5 PM and Saturday mornings from 9AM – 1 PM.