United Way of Natrona County announced that they will be offering free income tax preparation to residents of Natrona County who earned $65,000 or less in 2021.

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Anna Wilcox, executive director of United Way of Natrona County, said the program provided to around 2200 individuals and $1.5 million in refunds in 2019.

The past two years were unusual, as in 2020 they had to close early due to COVID-19 leading to fewer people getting assistance, and in 2021 they offered a lot more assistance due to people hoping to collect their federal stimulus checks.

Wilcox said the program, which United Way has been providing for the past six years, helps many residents of the county who would otherwise not have filed their taxes.

"We find that a good number of individuals that have their taxes completed by our volunteers would not be doing their taxes at all if it weren't for this program, which means that they would also be missing out on those dollars that are returned to them through this process," Wilcox said. "As much as we'd like to think that a majority of the population takes that check and puts it into a savings account, people often cash that check and put it right back into our economy, so that would be an overall benefit for our community."

Wilcox said they have over 20 volunteers that tend to be over 60, consisting of retired accountants and retired tax preparers who are looking to give back to the community, and so people will be required to wear masks if they go in to get assistance with their taxes.

The program will run from Jan. 25 through April 13, with services provided at 851 Werner Court, Suite 100.

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