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Local group hosts an event to help residents in Taft file their taxes

“We want to give back as much as we can,”
United Way of Kern County
Posted at 2:52 AM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 05:52:06-04

The deadline to file your taxes is sneaking up. People have until April 18th to file those returns. But as we know, this process can get complicated. That’s why one local group was trying to help our neighbors through those challenges.

The United Way of Kern County hosted a “Tacos and Taxes” event to help residents prepare their taxes, and get the assistance they needed in that process, outside the La Preciosa Market in Taft, on Saturday morning.

“There’s a lot of farm and low income working communities and families here so, we did our best to collaborate with the store owner and the other agencies to come out and make a fun event so they’re not as scared when it comes to filing their taxes,” said Annelisa Perez, financial stability initiatives manager with The United Way of Kern County.

Through the group’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA program, people could bring their paperwork and have someone with the team here help prepare their taxes ahead of the deadline, and without the hassle.

Perez adds that there are some things to look out for while filing your taxes. She says there have been more reports of identity theft this year, so it’s important to be careful who sees your social security number or personal details to avoid scams like that. She also recommends making sure you have all your paperwork sorted ahead of time..

“That you have all your W-2’s from all your employers if you had multiple jobs throughout the year. Making sure that you are aware if you received your stimulus payment, and your child tax credit payments.” She does add that there have been some delays with the IRS lately, so to be patient in the process.

And while preparing your taxes can be tedious, the group paired the day’s event with free tacos and offered resources to help community members stay healthy.

Gabriel Adame, marketing manager with The United Way of Kern County said volunteers handed out books in Spanish and English for kids, and gave out masks and COVID at-home test kits as well.

Adame adds that people lined up bright and early, and organizers were pleased with the turnout.

“We’re so excited to know that our outreach got to the Taft community, it’s really getting the word out,” he said.

If you want help preparing your taxes with the United Way of Kern County, you can visit their VITA program website here.