MakingChange Launches Free Tax Preparation Service

Volunteers provide assistance with tax returns at sites in Columbia and North Laurel

County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball talks with MakingChange’s Executive Director Michael Lee and board Chair Jean Sedlacko.

MakingChange, a nonprofit in Howard County which empowers individuals and families to achieve financial stability, recently launched its 2019 free tax preparation services at a briefing for community leaders.

County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball offered remarks at the gathering, nothing that in the midst of “so much affluence,” there are local residents who might feel stigmatized when they need help, but MakingChange “helps them feel good about their lives.”

MakingChange is hosting free tax preparation services at The MultiService Center in North Laurel and The NonProfit Collaborative in Columbia starting Jan. 26. The two locations are serving as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.

The Howard County sites, like other VITA sites across the country, offer free tax return preparation and filing to most taxpayers who earned up to $55,000 in 2018. The taxpayer’s eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) will also be determined. This year’s tax deadline is April 15, 2019.

The MultiService Center is located at 9900 Washington Boulevard (Route 1) in Laurel. Free tax preparation services are available Monday, from 4-8 p.m.; Friday, from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; and Saturday, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The NonProfit Collaborative is located at 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive in Columbia. Free tax preparation services are available Tuesday and Wednesday, from 4-8 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled at or call 443-518-7649.

Last year MakingChange volunteers assisted 743 taxpayers prepare their returns. The total combined amount of Federal and State refunds was $818,582. MakingChange also provides group seminars and personal coaching to teach people to manage their money and change their lives. Its programs are offered in schools, human service agencies and businesses.

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