By Nicholas Ibarra | OBSERVER Staff Writer

Volunteers are needed to help families across the Sacramento region file their taxes and apply for tax credits as part of United Way California Capital Region’s Free Tax Prep program. No experience is needed, as participants receive training to become IRS-certified volunteers. The training includes five full-day sessions and an open-book test at the end of training for certification.

Volunteers must be signed up by the end of November. United Way will train you to prepare taxes over the course of five full-day trainings across the month of November (5th, 12th, 19th), and December (3rd, 10th). An open book certification test ensures that you are qualified to handle your communities tax returns throughout the tax season.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, go to: YourLocalUnitedWayFreeTaxPrep.org.

Each year, United Way and hundreds of volunteers help families and individuals earning less than $66,000 annually file their taxes for free. Last tax season, the Free Tax Prep program helped more than 4,000 families receive more than $9.5 million in tax refunds, including CalEITC.

“Our Free Tax Prep volunteers play a big role in ensuring local families receive help applying for the maximum tax benefits for which they are eligible,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Many families in our region have earned these tax credits, but do not know they are eligible. These are important funds they can use to meet immediate needs and increase their household’s financial stability.”