This month we feature the CA$H Program, which helps clients get their income taxes prepared for free! CA$H tax clients also have the opportunity to discuss their financial goals and challenges with a trained Opportunity Guide volunteer, and get connected to local resources to help build their financial stability.
1. What do people need to know about eligibility for CA$H help?
CA$H serves people with a total household earned income of less than $57,000. Clients with any employment outside of Maine during 2020 are not eligible. Some tax returns may not be eligible because of individual circumstances.
2. How much does it cost to file your taxes with CA$H?
CA$H is a completely free service!
3. What do I need to have a successful appointment?
Have all documents organized in advance, including picture ID (such as a valid driver’s license) for the person filing (and spouse, if married and filing jointly); Social Security cards (or ITIN letters) for all people claimed on the tax return; all tax documents (such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098, 1095).
4. Are all meetings digital? How do I submit my paperwork?
CA$H will not be holding in-person tax appointments this year. Instead, they are participating in a nonprofit online service from Code for America, in partnership with IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites nationwide. Clients need access to an internet-ready device (desktop, mobile, or tablet), an email address, and a phone number to visit the GetYourRefund website and fill out the intake questions. Clients will be prompted to take and upload photos of identification and tax documents to a secure location. CA$H IRS-certified intake volunteers will then view the documents and reach out to schedule a phone conversation to review everything with the client. Then an IRS-certified tax preparer will virtually prepare the return, and the client will be alerted when it’s time to schedule a call to review the return with a volunteer. For those without access to technology for the fully virtual process above, CA$H is in the process of finalizing several locations where information can be scanned into the system All clients must be able to have two phone conversations with the CA$H team during the process.
5. How can I sign up?
After receiving tax documents for 2020, visit https://www.cashmaine.org to connect with the virtual process and/or to see when local drop-off/pick-up sites are up and running.
6. What are the main advantages of filing my taxes through CA$H?
CA$H is a free service offered by friendly, IRS-certified volunteers. They’ll make sure you receive the tax credits for which you are eligible, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and
the Child Tax Credit.
7. Do you offer interpretation or any translated materials?
The Get Your Refund website is available in English and Spanish. Clients can indicate other language preferences during the intake process and volunteers will work with the client to find translation.
Multilingual volunteers are always welcome. Email [email protected] to express interest in volunteering or to ask any other questions.