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¡5 Razones por las cuales deberías presentar tus impuestos con Ayuda de Impuestos Austin!  

February 21, 2022 | Posted in Tax Services |

No te preocupes esta temporada de impuestos. ¡Foundation Communities puede ayudarte a maximizar tu reembolso de forma gratuita!

¿Por qué deberías presentar con Foundation Communities este año? Aquí hay cinco razones por cual deberías usar nuestra asistencia gratuita para la presentación de impuestos en el 2022.

  1. Es gratis y los preparadores de pago son caros.

El costo promedio de preparación profesional de impuestos es entre $159 a $273. ¡Este es el dinero que sale de tu reembolso de impuestos! Es más, algunos preparadores evitan revelar sus costos hasta el final de la sesión. Nuestros servicios son 100% gratis.

Como un recurso gratuito de preparación de impuestos de la comunidad, nuestro objetivo es ayudar a las personas en el centro de Texas con ingresos bajos a moderados a acceder a una preparación de impuestos de alta calidad sin costo alguno. Para calificar para nuestros servicios, las personas deben ganar menos de $50,000 al año y los hogares de 2 a 4 gentes deben ganar menos de $75,000 al año (el límite de ingresos aumenta en $5,000 por cada miembro adicional de la familia).

  1. ¡Nuestro personal está certificado por el IRS!

Los preparadores de impuestos de Foundation Communities es certificado cada año por el IRS a través de un riguroso proceso de pruebas administradas por la agencia. Todas las declaraciones de impuestos siempre son revisadas por un revisor de calidad. Nuestro personal certificado por el IRS está listo para ayudarte a aumentar tus ganancias esta temporada de impuestos.

  1. Nuestro personal está comprometido a ayudarte.

Como una organización sin fines de lucro, no tenemos ningún motivo de ganancia. Nuestro objetivo es ofrecer excelentes servicios de preparación de impuestos y maximizar tu reembolso de impuestos.

  1. Puedes conseguir más que simplemente ayuda de presentación de impuestos.

Con el fin de ayudar a construir caminos hacia el bienestar financiero, conectamos a los clientes con recursos internos para ayudarles a alcanzar sus objetivos financieros. En nuestros Centros Prósperos, también puede acceder entrenamiento financiero gratuito, servicios de apoyo a la universidad e inscripción en seguros médicos.

  1. ¡Es muy fácil!

¡El programa Ayuda de Impuestos Austin de Foundation Communities ayuda a miles de personas a maximizar sus reembolsos de impuestos cada año! ¡Ahora estamos abiertos para la preparación de impuestos en persona, visita nuestra página de citas o llame al 2-1-1 para programar una cita GRATUITA hoy!

Five Reasons to File Your Taxes with Prosper Tax Help!

February 21, 2022 | Posted in Tax Services, Financial Stability |

Don’t stress this tax season. Foundation Communities can help you maximize your refund free of charge! Why should you file with Foundation Communities this year? Here are the top five reasons to use our free tax filing assistance.

1. It’s free!

The average cost of professional tax preparation ranges from $159 to $273. This is money that comes out of your tax refund! Some paid preparers avoid disclosing their fees until the end of the session.

As a free community tax preparation resource, our goal is to help people in Central Texas with lower incomes access high-quality tax preparation at no cost. To qualify for our services, individuals must earn less than $50,000/year and households of 2-4 must earn less than $75,000/year (the income limit increases by $5,000 for each additional family member).

2. Our staff is IRS Certified.

Foundation Communities tax preparers are trained in tax law and certified each year by the IRS through a rigorous testing process, and tax returns are always reviewed by a quality reviewer. Our IRS-certified team is ready to help you boost your earnings this tax season.

3. Our staff is committed to helping you.

As a non-profit organization, we have no profit motive. We are not out to collect fees; our goal is to provide you with excellent tax prep services and the maximum refund possible. You will never be charged for our services!

4. You can get more than just great free tax filing help.

In order to help build pathways to financial wellness, we connect clients with internal resources to help them achieve their financial goals. At our Prosper Centers, you can also access free financial coaching, college support services, and health insurance enrollment.

5. It’s easy!

The Prosper Tax Help program at Foundation Communities helps thousands of people maximize their tax refunds every year! We are now open for in-person tax prep, you can schedule an appointment online or call 2-1-1 to schedule a FREE appointment today!

Retiree “Neighbors Up” with Health Food Pantries

February 21, 2022 | Posted in Healthy Initiatives, Get Involved, Volunteer |

Mary Sapp could be spending lots of time visiting loved ones, doing hobbies or just relaxing. But, that’s not who she is. The retired advocate for the aging volunteers with Foundation Communities support services programs. Ten years ago, Mary started with Financial Coaching. She later began working with students in the ESL program. Now, at the active age of 76, Mary volunteers twice every month, working with our Healthy Food Pantry program at Sierra Ridge. In fact, she was one of the program’s first volunteers.

“A good part of my life, I’ve been concerned and committed to improving the quality of life of individuals in many different ways,” said Mary. “Foundation Communities provided me an opportunity to continue living out my values in ways that are important to me.”

When the pandemic struck in 2020, the Food Pantries saw an explosion of activity as they became a lifeline for people who had lost their jobs. Mary and other volunteers kept showing up, honoring their commitments to the program. Mary says it’s because she enjoys serving the clients and working with the program’s staff. She also appreciates Foundation Communities’ model of creating affordable communities that offer a variety of support services.

“That’s what happens at Foundation Communities,” said Mary. “Yes, it’s about housing, but it’s also about holistically caring for individuals and helping them be more successful.”

Foundation Communities is eternally grateful to volunteers like Mary, and the many residents who help us make our 26 affordable communities and our financial services centers all over Austin and North Texas places where their neighbors can find success and quality of life. You can explore volunteer opportunities with Foundation Communities at foundcom.org/volunteer.

In the next two weeks, we will be featuring some of those great people as part of our “Neighbor Up, Austin” campaign for Amplify Austin, March 2-3. We hope you’ll neighbor up and help us raise money for our support services programs on our Amplify Austin page at https://www.amplifyatx.org/organizations/foundation-communities.

Prosper Tax Help Taking the Stress out of Tax Season

February 21, 2022 | Posted in Tax Services, Financial Stability |

The 2022 tax filing season is here, and while more Central Texans may be looking forward to receiving a tax refund, they may also be having nightmares about forms, deductions and credits. For more than 15 years, thousands of Central Texans have trusted Foundation Communities to provide free tax preparation. This year, we will have six tax help locations open in Austin and Round Rock to help our neighbors “maximize their refund and minimize their stress.” All centers will follow recommended masking and social distancing protocols.

With the expanded Child Tax Credit, families with eligible dependents can receive up to $3,600 per child when they file a 2021 tax return. Our team of IRS-certified tax preparers is trained to help them get their maximum refund and all the tax credits they are eligible for. Eligibility for our free services is income based: up to $50,000 for a single filer, $75,000 for households of 2-4 people, and an additional $5,000 for each additional household member. Our tax services are available by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled at prospertaxhelp.org or by calling 211.

Ahorra tiempo al entregar tus documentos de impuestos en un Centro Próspero

February 15, 2022 | Posted in Tax Services, Financial Stability |

¿Por qué pasar horas declarando impuestos? Estás ocupado, ¡lo entendemos! Ahorra tiempo al entregar tus documentos de impuestos en un Centro Próspero. ¡Nuestro Programa de Drop Off es una forma confidencial y segura de presentar tus impuestos!

Así es como funciona:
• Completas una entrevista de admisión y escaneas tus documentos de forma segura en el sitio
• Nuestros preparadores de impuestos certificados por el IRS prepararán y revisarán tu declaración para asegurar la mayor exactitud
• Cuando tu declaración de impuestos esté lista para revisar, volverás a cualquier centro de impuestos para revisar y presentar tu declaración con el IRS

Para ayudarnos a preparar tus impuestos, por favor asegúrate de traer todos los documentos de impuestos a la entrevista de admisión. No podemos preparar tu declaración si olvidas alguno de estos documentos. Si no estás seguro qué traer a la entrevista de admisión, hicimos una lista para ayudarte.

Esto es lo que necesita traer:
• Identificación con fotografía
• Tarjeta(s) de Seguridad Social o carta(s) ITIN para todos en la declaración
• Todos los documentos fiscales (por ejemplo, W-2, 1099, 1095-A)
• Información bancaria (números de ruta y cuenta)
• Cualquier registro personal de gastos (educación, atención médica, cuidado infantil, donaciones, etc.)
** Si está casado y la presentación es conjunta, ambos conyugues deben estar presente

¡Los Centros Prósperos ahora están abiertos para servicios en persona! ¡Programa tu cita GRATIS de admisión para el programa Drop Off hoy!
¡Recuperemos TODO tu dinero esta temporada!

Meet with a Financial Coach, make the most of your tax refund

January 31, 2022 | Posted in Tax Services, Financial Stability |

In the Financial Wellness program, we love making plans for reaching financial goals! This is a very exciting time of year where many people are getting a tax refund, and can make big strides toward their financial goals – even if one of those goals is to just catch up!

Here are a few tips for how to make the most of your tax refund:

        • Catch up on bills – Have you gotten behind on bill payments? Are the late fees stacking up? Getting caught up and starting fresh is a great way to make the most of your refund.
        • Pay down debt – Do you owe money on a loan or credit card? Are the interest and fees making it hard to keep up? Paying down debt is a great option for using your refund. If there is one debt (and monthly payment) you can completely eliminate with your refund, even better
        • Save for emergencies or future expenses – We know emergencies and large expenses are coming. Be prepared by saving a portion of your refund to deal with them. Consider saving for things like:
    • * Car repairs
    • * Medical bills
    • * Job loss
    • * Education
    • * Down payment on a house
    • * New Furniture
    • * Vacation

*Pro tip: talk to your Financial Coach about what savings vehicle is best for you and your goals.

  • Save a portion of your refund right on your tax return and get an HEB gift card – When you get your taxes done at our Prosper Centers, tell your tax preparer that you want to save a portion of your refund. Direct at least $50 of your refund to a savings account or a savings bond and they’ll give you a $10 HEB gift card.

If you would like to talk to a Financial Coach about your tax refund plans (or any financial plans!), call our Prosper Centers at 737-717-4000 or visit our web site at ProsperFinancialWellness.org.

Save time and drop off your taxes!

January 25, 2022 | Posted in Tax Services, Financial Stability |

Why spend hours filing taxes? You’re busy, we understand that! Save time by dropping off your taxes at a Prosper Tax Help center. Our Drop Off Program is a confidential and safe way to file your taxes!

Here’s how it works: 

1. Complete an intake interview and scan your documents securely on-site

2. Our IRS-certified tax preparers will prepare & review your return for accuracy

3. When your tax return is done, come back to any tax center to review and file with the IRS

 
To help us prepare your taxes, please make sure to bring all your tax documents to your Drop-Off intake appointment. We cannot prepare your return if you forget any of these documents. If you’re not sure what to bring, we made a list to help you.

Here’s what you need to bring:

*Valid photo ID

*Social Security Card(s) or ITIN letter(s)

*All tax documents (e.g., W-2, 1099, 1095-A)

*Bank information

*Any personal records of expenses (education, medical, child care, charitable donations, etc.)

*If you are married and filing jointly, both spouses must be present

 
The Prosper Tax Help centers are now open for in-person  services! Schedule your FREE  Drop Off Intake appointment today!

Let’s get ALL your money back this season!

 

Here’s a free, online tool for filing simple tax returns

January 20, 2022 | Posted in Tax Services, Financial Stability |

Have a simple W2? Why pay fees when you can file for FREE! Visit MyFreeTaxes.com to max your tax return today. MyFreeTaxes is secure and designed to help get you the most money back!  

MyFreeTaxes guides you through the filing process and notifies you if you are eligible for tax deductions and credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. There is also a helpline available in English and Spanish so you can get live help from a real person trained by the IRS.  

All of this is available to you, at no cost, to ensure you get the biggest tax return possible!   

MyFreeTaxes can also help you with the following services:   

·       W-2 income 

·       Self-employment income  

·       Student education expenses, credits or student loan interest 

·       Unemployment income 

·       Earned Income Tax Credit 

·       Child Tax Credit  

·       Child and dependent care expenses 

MyFreeTaxes is available on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Taxes don’t have to be complicated, visit MyFreeTaxes.com to file your taxes today!  

Health Initiatives Program Awarded Large Grant for COVID-19 Outreach, Education

December 17, 2021 | Posted in Healthy Initiatives, Health |

Foundation Communities is honored to have been awarded a grant of $126,365 for COVID-19 vaccine outreach and education from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas A&M University Health Science Center. The grant is part of an $8.6 million effort to fund local organizations across the state through the Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Grant Program, which seeks to increase the number of fully vaccinated people in Texas.

“As our statewide COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to show progress, DSHS believes these grants will have an immediate effect in neighborhoods across Texas,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services. “Local organizations are trusted sources of information that can use their direct community connections to educate and help those who may be hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The grant funding will help Foundation Communities continue and expand our COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Since May of this year, we have helped hundreds of Central Texans get vaccinated against COVID-19 through our Health Initiatives program, in partnership with East Austin Medicine Shop and Austin Public Health. We have also made efforts to inform Central Texans about the effectiveness and importance of COVID-19 vaccinations.

”We are excited to be trusted with this grant opportunity to reach additional people and expand our vaccine outreach and education efforts across five Texas counties,” said Aaron DeLaO, director of health initiatives.

Priority for the grants was given to applicants focusing on outreach to rural communities, Texans with disabilities and communities of color. Foundation Communities’ Health Coverage team is already focusing on these and other underserved populations as they work to get Texans enrolled in affordable Marketplace health insurance plans.

Foundation Communities is Making Signing up for Marketplace Health Plans Simple

November 24, 2021 | Posted in Health |

Simply put, Foundation Communities’ Health Coverage team is on a mission to simplify health insurance enrollment for clients, and to enroll many more clients. “This is a really big year for the Marketplace in Texas because we have more providers, more plans, and more financial assistance than ever before,” said Aaron DeLaO, Director of Health Initiatives for Foundation Communities. You can sign up for an appointment with our Health Coverage team at prosperhealthcoverage.org.

The Open Enrollment period is the only time of year people can change their health plan unless they have a qualifying life event such as moving, getting married or having a baby. Open Enrollment started on November 1 and will end on January 15. That represents an extra month our Health Coverage Team will have to get people signed up. At an Open Enrollment Kickoff at the Prosper Center South on November 8, Foundation Communities and elected officials announced more changes.

“We’re also really excited that we’re gonna be welcoming clients back into our Prosper Centers for in-person appointments, though we will still maintain telephone appointments for people who want those,” said Foundation Communities Deputy Executive Director Julian Huerta. “We are extending our outreach to 12 counties in Central Texas, and we’re stepping up outreach in communities that have high numbers of uninsured folks, because always our goal is to simplify the process of signing up for health insurance so that people can stay healthy and have the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance.”

The expanded outreach is largely due to Foundation Communities being awarded a three-year, $3 million grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It’s part of a renewed emphasis on the Affordable Care Act by the Biden Administration. The American Rescue Plan enacted earlier this year significantly increases both the amount of financial help available to lower monthly premiums through the HealthCare.gov Marketplace, and the number of people who qualify for it.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett said, “A significant number of people will find that for the first time, they will pay no premium at all to get the coverage that they need, because we’ve tried to improve and strengthen the Affordable Care Act coverage for many working families who are economically disadvantaged.”

Doggett said his number one priority is to end Texas’ run as the most uninsured state in the country. Austin Mayor Steve Adler echoed that sentiment. “Twenty-one percent of Texans live without any form of health insurance, and that is criminal, criminal in a day like we have here today. Especially after we’ve seen the importance of access to health care in our community as we’ve gone through this past pandemic,” said Adler. “There are 162 plans to choose from (in Travis and Williamson Counties) and Foundation Communities can walk anybody through what is not a terribly complicated process.”

“Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege,” said Austin Council Member Greg Casar. “And, it is days like this, and organizations like Foundation Communities that make that right real for people.”

The Kickoff opened with a performance from Austin musicians Alejandro Rios and Roddrinskee “DRINT” Johnson. Later, Rios took center stage to talk about how the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) and Foundation Communities helped him get coverage for surgery on a spinal cyst that threatened to leave him paralyzed. Rios encouraged everyone to sign up for Marketplace health coverage. “I’m excited to be doing another year. This is the time to sign up, while it’s hot,” said Rios.

“What many of our neighbors don’t realize is that musicians that make this the Live Music Capital of the World, just like Alejandro and DRINT, are basically small businesses,” said Doggett. “And, if they had to go out and get health insurance on their own, it might be prohibitively expensive for their business. But, through HAAM, and through Foundation Communities, and through the Affordable Care Act, they can get the coverage that they need to continue performing.”

Anyone in the state of Texas can schedule a health coverage appointment with Foundation Communities by calling 512-381-4520, or by signing up at ProsperHealthCoverage.org. Enrollment assistance is available in many languages.