Tax Help 211

Tax season is upon us, and for many it's time to get help with what can be a difficult process.

The Omaha Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition kicked off their free tax preparation services Monday in South Omaha.

Romane Preston is single, has no children, and didn't make much money in 2013. After working with a tax preparation counselor and seeing the amount of his tax return, he's smiling. "I was surprised about how much I was getting back given the amount of work I had this year, or lack thereof," said Preston.

After hearing from his sister about free tax preparation help at Family Housing Advisory Services in South Omaha, he decided to give it a try. "It seems complicated. And coming here they just simplify it," said Preston, "And everything they just kind of, kind of do everything for you."

Ed Leahy, Director of the Earned Income Tax Coalition says, "The remarkable transformation that happens is we turn a transaction into a relationship."

Families and individuals like Preston meet one-on-one with certified tax counselors, and go line-by-line to make sure that they account for every credit and deduction possible. "They meet with tax preparers who intimately go over their statements, advise them on where they could be saving more money, ask them how to use the refund," said Leahy.

Preston says he'll use the extra money toward truck driving school in March. "I just kind of smiled, smiled and laughed a little bit inside," he said.

To find locations and times for the free tax preparation sites just dial 2-1-1. WOWT 6 News is proud to partner with the United Way to help make the Omaha community strong.

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