Collaboration at its finest

The start of the New Year means tax season is ramping up, and thanks to a collaborative effort between a laundry list of organizations, there is a free tax help event planned at the end of the month in Helena, Mont.

The free tax help event is scheduled to be held at the local library and welcomes eligible residents to come in for free tax preparation and/or get useful information from a navigator for the Affordable Health Care Act.

These organizations are coming together to provide residents an opportunity to get a jump on free tax preparation without an appointment. And, it’s a pretty unique collaboration.

Carin McClain is the tax program manager with Montana Credit Unions for Community Development, the charitable arm of the Montana Credit Union Network. She said this cooperative effort is special and doesn’t often happen in other parts of the country.

“It’s rare that multiple organizations get together to hold a joint event,” McClain said. “This is great news for tax payers because it means more access to free tax preparation. This day goes above and beyond our normal tax season.”

Folks are typically anxious to get the ball rolling when it comes to tax filing and because this event is very early in the season it’s always well attended. The group expects extra attendance this year considering the potential implications of the ACA and with an on-site navigator, questions or concerns will be easily answered.

This joint effort should serve as a model for other part of the country offering the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. It’s about what is best for participants in the program and whatever can be done to make free tax preparation more accessible to hard-working Americans.

Alana Listoe

Alana Listoe

Alana Listoe is an award-winning journalist who joined the Montana Credit Union Network to help spread the good word about the credit union movement. She has been a credit union ... Web: www.mcun.coop Details

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