Need some help with your taxes? There may be help out there and the best part — it’s free.

NeighborWorks Umpqua has kicked off its free tax preparation service to help prepare taxes for people needing assistance. NeighborWorks is partnering with the IRS to offer volunteer tax assistance sites in Roseburg and North Bend.

These free tax services are by appointment only and will be be contact-free; documents can be shared through a drop-off process by appointment only. Additional follow-up consultations are by phone.

For those who cannot travel, trained volunteers are available for questions while customers use a self-service website.

“By partnering with the IRS, we have the support to connect with those in our rural community who normally do not have the means to file their taxes. This year we are adding translated services in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese,” Michelle Martin, Director of Community and Economic Empowerment for NeighborWorks Umpqua, said in a news release.

Martin also said that a main reason NeighborWorks Umpqua is providing these services is to help more individuals receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. That tax credit adds dollars to the Oregon economy by giving working people more money to spend and contributes to reducing poverty, Martin said.

According to the Oregon Center for Public Policy, historically Earned Income Tax Credit participation has been in the 70% range, which translates to over $100 million in loss of economic activity in the state. NeighborWorks Umpqua hopes to increase the number of participants in the tax credit program by helping individuals file their taxes.

Tax preparation appointment scheduling is open now through April 15, 2021, which is the deadline for filing taxes. Those interested in getting their taxes prepared should call NeighborWorks Umpqua at 877-527-5630 ,or learn more about the service on the NeighborWorks website: www.nwumpqua.org/taxes/

Scott Carroll can be reached at scarroll@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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