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Baltimore CASH campaign offering free, expanded tax prep services

- The Baltimore CASH Campaign is using a grant from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to offer financial coaching to veterans. The program is led by a certified financial coach who is also a military spouse, Wyneca Pruett, left, seen with Sara Johnson, Director of Baltimore CASH Campaign.   (The Daily Record/ Maximilian Franz).

Baltimore CASH. (The Daily Record/ Maximilian Franz).

With tax season underway, the Baltimore CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope)  campaign is hoping to help 10,000 households with its tax preparation services this year.

Now in its 16th year of offering the service, Baltimore CASH is offering tax preparation services at 15 sites, 13 in the city and two in Baltimore County.

“A lot of folks rely on us every year,” said Sara Johnson, director of the Baltimore CASH Campaign.

More than one-third of Maryland’s households are unable to build up three months of savings to use in case of an emergency, according to a report by the CFED.

Tax return checks are often the largest paycheck of the year for Baltimore CASH clients, creating an opportunity for people to build assets. Baltimore CASH helps clients open savings accounts with that money.

“We want to keep people away from using check cashing,” Johnson said.

This year, Baltimore CASH hopes to put more than $20 million back into its client’s pockets, the organization said in a press release.

The free federal and state tax prep services are open to those who made less than $54,000 in 2016. Taxes are prepared by IRS certified volunteers and are filed electronically.

For more information and to set up an appointment, go to www.bmorefreetaxes.org or call 410-234-8008.

To purchase a reprint of this article, contact reprints@thedailyrecord.com.

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