Free Tax Services Available to Help Thurston County Residents Claim Their Full Refunds



Submitted by Thurston Asset Building Coalition

Workers could overlook important federal tax credits because they simply don’t know about them. They could miss out on up to $6,143 extra in their federal income tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC and as much as $1,000 per qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit or CTC.

“This money can make a real difference to workers and even lift someone out of poverty,” said Schelli Slaughter, Executive Director of the Family Support Center and Chair of the Thurston Asset Building Coalition. The Thurston Asset Building Coalition is partnering with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program to offer free tax preparation services to low- and moderate-income individuals and families at seven sites throughout Thurston County. There, individuals can get free help determining their EITC and CTC eligibility and claiming the credits.

The EITC is a refundable tax credit available to qualifying lower-wage workers and their families. Workers earning less than about $48,000 from wages, self-employment or farming in 2014 could qualify. Many people will qualify for the first time this year due to changes in their income, their marital status or parental status, according to the IRS. But the IRS estimates only four out of five eligible workers currently claim their EITC. The CTC is available to workers with children earning more than $3,000. A qualifying child must be under age 17. The EITC is one of the nation’s largest and most effective anti-poverty programs. In 2013, the EITC and CTC lifted more than 9 million people out of poverty, half of them children.

The Thurston Asset Building Coalition is a network of more than 60 social service providers, businesses, government agencies, health care agencies, economic and community developers, faith communities, funders, and financial institutions. “We are promoting these services because we want everyone who is eligible to take advantage of these tax credits,” said Slaughter. “Thanks to our many partner agencies and trained and certified volunteer tax counselors, we plan on assisting more than 2,000 people with their taxes this year.”

The Thurston Asset Building Coalition fosters strong partnerships to improve opportunities for people with limited incomes by coordinating information sharing, peer learning, improved referrals, greater awareness about community resources, and collaborative partnerships. United Way of Thurston County, Thurston County Food Bank, Enterprise for Equity, Department of Commerce, Timberland Regional Library, and AARP Foundation are just a few of the organizations involved in our free tax assistance outreach partnership.

The services are available at the following days, times and locations: Lacey Timberland Library, Thursday and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Lacey Senior Center, Tuesdays and Thursdays; 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Olympia Community Center, Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Panorama, Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Rochester Community Center, by appointment, call (360) 273-6375; Tumwater Timberland Library, Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; and the Yelm Adult Community Center, Fridays, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Services are first come first served and the waiting list can fill up quickly.

Those with incomes under $60,000 can also access free tax preparation services online at and search “free tax preparation.” Those interested in having their taxes prepared should bring income documents from all jobs worked throughout the year as well as their social security number and a valid photo ID.

A family’s tax refund also offers a chance to put some money into savings. To help families looking to save their tax refund for a rainy day, TABC also encourages those without bank accounts to sign up for a free or low-cost checking account to expedite their returns and encourage savings (more information at

For more information, call (360) 529-5281. You can also visit Thurston Asset Building Coalition’s website at

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