Image by Flickr user blmurchImage by 20090127-taxes.jpg It doesn't have to be so hard.
First off, yes, 100% free.
Trident United Way is aiming to help people and families with a modest income get more of their refund by optimizing their returns, and helping them avoid heavy fees.
From their Web page:
The Free Tax Prep program has saved Lowcountry filers $1.7 million in filing fees over the last five years and helped them claim $4.5 million in tax credits.
If you use a paid tax preparer, avoid "rapid refund loans". Rapid refund loans have very high interest rates and you can end up paying a lot of money for very little benefit. When your income tax return is electronically filed and directly deposited into a checking or savings account, you receive your refund in 7 - 10 days. Why pay someone to give you your own money just a few days earlier?
It makes perfect sense and is an excellent community service.
Thanks to NBC News 2 for tipping us off.