Financial Resources

Need help managing your finances or want more information about budgeting?  This page is where you need to be!

United Way of Central Alabama

UWCA has several programs to help individuals gain financial stability.  Programs can help you save for college, understand purchasing a home, learn to budget, and understand your credit.  Depending on your income, UWCA also offers free help with taxes.  For more information, visit UWCA.

*FREE TAX HELP: United Way works closely with the Internal Revenue Service and other partners to provide free income tax preparation to individuals earning $53,000 or less. Tax returns are prepared by IRS Certified Preparers and are filed on-line through secure IRS systems. United Way’s new Drop Off Services provide a convenient way for working individuals to get their taxes done around their work schedules.

Who Qualifies for Free Tax Preparation? 

If you earn $53,000 or less – you qualify for free tax assistance at United Way!
If you earn $60,000 or less – you qualify for free on-line filing at 
MyFreeTaxes.com!

And, you may be eligible for earned income tax credits up to $4,824. You can avoid high fees by having your taxes prepared by IRS certified volunteers and get your refund in 10-14 days. Unsure about eligibility? Call us or send us an email at financialstability@uwca.org

What Time Frame does United Way prepare taxes?

2016 Tax Season Starts January 19. Call today to make your appointment. Brief appointments are necessary even for the drop off service. United Way provides tax assistance year round. Our busiest season is mid January to April 15, but tax filers can call us anytime to schedule an appointment. We assist families who may need to file multiple years of tax returns as well as those who have filed tax extensions.

What do Tax Filers need to bring with them?
United Way’s Free Tax Assistance Program advises tax filers to bring the following documents for their tax preparation appointment:

-Social Security cards for all family members
-Driver License or non-drivers ID. Spouses filing jointly must both be present.
-Last year’s federal and state returns
-W-2 forms
-1099’s for interest, dividends, retirement, Social Security, unemployment or self-employment
-1095 for Health Insurance Coverage
-Letters or documents from the IRS
-Child care receipts – name, address, tax ID# and amount paid
-Tuition expenses (1098T) and student loan interest (1098E)
-Receipts for property tax, vehicle tag, charitable gifts, medical, dental or prescriptions
-Voided check or direct deposit

How do Tax Filers contact United Way for Free Tax Preparation?

For additional information call United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Referral Line or call 1-888-421-1266.  Call today for an appointment. We prepare taxes year round.

*Information adapted from United Way of Central Alabama website.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The CFPB is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. Learn more at CFPB.

Home Modifications & Tax Deductions

IRS Publication 502 

Certain improvements made to your home to accommodate your disability, or that of your spouse or your dependents who live with you, don’t usually increase the value of the home and the cost can be included in full as medical expenses. These improvements include, but aren’t limited to, the following items.

Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home.

Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home.

Widening or otherwise modifying hallways and interior doorways.

Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms.

Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.

Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures.

Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house).

Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems.

Modifying stairways.

Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not in bathrooms).

Modifying hardware on doors.

Modifying areas in front of entrance and exit doorways.

Grading the ground to provide access to the residence.

Only reasonable costs to accommodate a home to a disabled condition are considered medical care. Additional costs for personal motives, such as for architectural or aesthetic reasons, aren’t medical expenses.

Basic Budgeting Tips

  • Save money each month by collecting you loose change.  Simply tape the lid of an empty 2-liter bottle or milk jug and cut a whole in it.  Each day, drop your loose change in the jug.  At the end of the month or year, take the change to the bank.  Instant savings without much effort!
  • Coupons are a GREAT way to save some money each month!  If you live in St. Clair County, you can join our FREE Coupon Class!  Each month, the class cuts coupons,  learns how to use coupons, and reviews store policies related to coupons.  Check out our calendar for the next meeting!
  • Spring Cleaning time!!  As you clean out your house, look for items you might could sell, recycle, or donate.  Consider having a yard sale or listing your items online.  Put any  money you make into a saving account.  If you donate items, be sure to get a tax receipt.  Let that JUNK work for you!
  • Be sure to shop around for the best prices. Many stores offer price matches.  Check around before purchasing big ticket items.  Ask about warranties or guarantees when purchasing large items or appliances.  Make sure you know how your investment is protected.
  • Track your expenses for one month to see where you spend your money.  You might be surprised at how those biscuits, coffees, or cokes add up!  Take a look at the expenses at the end of the month and see where you might be able to save a little more!!