Montgomery Co. volunteers provide free tax prep to community

This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.

It’s National Volunteer Week — a time when we recognize how volunteers contribute to our communities. It’s also the deadline for filing federal taxes.

A group of volunteers in Montgomery County, Maryland, help low- and moderate-income households get free tax preparation services.

The Montgomery County Community Action Agency, an arm of the county’s Department of Health and Human Service, helps low- and middle-income household prepare their taxes for free.

Sharon Strauss is the executive director of The Montgomery County Community Action Agency, an arm of the county’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Strauss said that “there is a real focus on helping the volunteers and people we serve understand how they can access tax credits like the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit.”

The director told WTOP that the organization’s IRS-approved program helps people with basic tax preparation as well as complicated returns. Strauss calls her 27 volunteers “highly skilled and very committed.”

She said they are equipped to handle the needs of the diverse Montgomery County community.

“They speak Farsi, Russian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Taiwanese, Cantonese and Mandarin,” Strauss said.

On top of their mission in educating people, Strauss said that they want to help people be more economically successful while making sure that they are in compliance with the law.

The agency said it provided virtual and in-person services in Rockville, Gaithersburg and Wheaton to Montgomery County residents earning under $58,000 per year. They have served over 1,000 residents this season.

Although all available appointments are full, Strauss says people can make new appointments in mid-May by checking their website or by calling 240-777-1123.

Maryland tax filers can continue to take advantage of the service as the deadline for state taxes is extended to July 15th.

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