Free tax preparation available for Philly families to help build financial well-being

A local nonprofit is partnering with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to provide free tax preparation services in an effort to help families get more money back into their pockets.

Brittany Brown said she learned about the free service during her 5-month-old daughter’s doctor’s appointment.

"I would rather have a professional have their eyes on it," said Brittany Brown. "I think that it will help us in the long run, especially for working families."

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the nonprofit Campaign for Working Families is offering the service with the goal of building financial well-being for individuals and families.

"We don’t want to leave any dollars on the table," said Dr. Nikia Owens, President & CEO of Campaign for Working Families. "We will help make sure we maximize whatever refund or deductions that you would qualify for. Our mission is to really spread the word. We don’t want to let Philadelphians leave $100 million plus dollars on the table every single year and that’s what’s happening."

Owens said families who qualify for the Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit should meet with one of their volunteer consultants.

CHOP expects to serve 300 families this tax season at the Karabots Pediatric Center with an average return of $2,500.

"That $2,500 coming to them can make a huge difference for reducing debt, for buying groceries, for making ends meet, for putting into savings. It’s really a huge influx of funds for a lot of these families," said Kate Morrow, Program Manager of CHOP Medical Financial Partnership. "Our aim with this program is to address the financial security of a family so that we can ensure the best health outcomes for children."

Support is available for people who make $66,000 or less, persons with disabilities, taxpayers whose first language isn’t English and for those with high medical expenses seeking to file deductions.

"Making sure that any medical expenses that can be deducted on their tax returns are, and at the end of the day, making sure that they’re getting that highest refund possible," said Morrow.

Lonnie Perry works for CHOP and runs a personal training business. He said the extra help is going a long way in getting a maximum return.

"Especially for individuals like me who have a business outside of work, it can be a little challenging. Some of those forms that you have to fill out are still kind of like a foreign language," said Perry. "It always can help us out moving forward. You know, a lot of us have children, all that responsibility, so any little bit of money that we can get back would be helpful."

IRS-certified preparers are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. and on Saturdays between 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Click here to schedule an appointment with CHOP Medical Financial Partnership.