BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Spring is here. That means April is around the corner and tax day looms. For many taxpayers, the ins and outs of filing are a mystery. That’s why there’s free help at one of the region’s largest financial events.
Gigi Barnett has more.
The power of money caused a line to wrap around Baltimore Polytechnic High School. Most folks there were in search of financial health and wealth in a still-sluggish economy.
“What it shows is that people really need these services. They need quality services, they need them to be free and they need them to be accessible,” said Baltimore CASH Campaign Director Sara Johnson.
The Baltimore CASH Campaign has taken on the task of getting that help to taxpayers. Its day-long seminar is called “Money Power Day.” It’s the largest free, financial literacy event in the region.
Johnson heads the nonprofit CASH Campaign.
“I think people sometimes get really overwhelmed. They’re not sure where to start. They get really overwhelmed with their finances. They have a lot of questions, and so, sometimes people just shut down,” she said.
The agency also prepares taxes free of charge for anyone who makes $52,000 a year or less. The CASH Campaign says many times those taxpayers are missing out on millions of dollars in big tax breaks every year.
“I think people don’t know that they qualify sometimes or they’re going to people who are not certified, unlike our IRS certified tax preparers, who really make sure they get all the tax credits they deserve,” Johnson said.
But this year, there’s a new component to the Money Power Day: one-on-one help to enroll in the state’s health care exchange. The deadline to sign up is coming up fast.
“March 31st is the deadline. I said, `I better hurry up and get something,'” said Maxine Johnson.
“The reality is sometimes people need a face, or to actually sit down and go through it. I pretty much knew that we would have a pretty large crowd for health care once we put the word out,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Nearly 1,000 people attended this weekend’s Money Power event.
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