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About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Looking for a few good tax preparers

The Rappahannock United Way is looking for volunteers to help during the upcoming tax season. The agency offers free tax help for low-income area residents. Tax preparation sites are open January to April. Volunteer hours are flexible.

Training starts in December.

For details, contact: Shelby Beck · 540/373-0041 ext. 314 or email:

Help for Low Income Workers

Virginia, along with the rest of the nation, is in the midst of one of the deepest recessions in recent memory. As stable employment becomes increasingly difficult to find, working families and low-income individuals are struggling to make ends meet. One answer is to help eligible families and individuals access the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC.) The EITC is a refundable federal tax credit that helps working people achieve economic stability and security. To find out more about the EITC, visit

With the current economic downturn, the EITC is more important than ever for Fredericksburg’s working families. During the 2011 tax season, 902 total tax returns were filed, with total refunds for these individuals and families amounting to $1,202,023! Because these taxpayers chose the Coalition’s free tax preparation, they collectively saved $170,000 on preparation fees. This money can instead go toward paying bills, reducing debt, paying for an education, building savings, or even buying a car to have a lasting impact on the lives of community members.

You Can Help

Rappahannock United Way is looking for people who can give a few hours of their time volunteering as a tax preparer, helping thousands of people get more of their own money back through the Earned Income Tax Credit. .People interested in volunteering do not need to have any previous experience. Volunteers will receive free training in preparing computerized tax returns, offering them the opportunity to learn a valuable skill while giving back to the community. By volunteering as a Tax Preparer just one hour of your time could put $4,000 into the pockets of a hardworking, low-income family. EITC volunteers assist individuals in preparing and filing their returns at tax sites from January 17 to April 15.