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Catholic Charities helps those in need to receive more than $2.1 million in tax refunds

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Diali Avila and Melissa Dunmore (left and center) with Catholic Charities EmpowerU proudly display their certificates presented by Linda Jackson, senior tax consultant with the IRS (right). The certificates were awarded for their outstanding efforts in coordinating this year’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Diali Avila and Melissa Dunmore (left and center) with Catholic Charities EmpowerU proudly display their certificates presented by Linda Jackson, senior tax consultant with the IRS (right). The certificates were awarded for their outstanding efforts in coordinating this year’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

72 volunteers contributed 3,359 hours to complete 1,291 returns for low- to moderate-income individuals and families in Maricopa and Yavapai counties

Catholic Charities Community Services volunteers completed 1,291 free tax returns totaling $2,137,767 in federal and state refunds during the 2012 tax season which ended April 15. The agency provided the free service to individuals and families with low to moderate incomes in Maricopa and Yavapai counties.

“Our volunteers are the heroes here. They complete more than 40 hours of IRS training in the current tax codes to help our community’s most vulnerable receive their maximum qualified return,” said Haley Hyatt, EmpowerU senior program manager for Catholic Charities.

Seventy-two Catholic Charities volunteers contributed 3,359 hours to complete 49 percent more returns than last year.

Catholic Charities offered the free service is part of its EmpowerU program, helping vulnerable individuals and families to permanently improve their financial situations and achieve long-term prosperity through education, resource and skill building, planning and encouragement.

“We hope many of those we helped with free tax preparation will come to our free EmpowerU Financial Foundations workshops,” Hyatt said. “We show people how small changes can make a big difference in their finances so they have money for the things they need, are prepared for the unexpected and understand when borrowing can help them get ahead or hold them back.”

EmpowerU Financial Foundations is a free workshop to help people make better financial decisions, build savings, reduce debt and to repair and use credit wisely. Workshops are continuously forming. For upcoming EmpowerU workshops, visit www.CatholicCharitiesAZ.org/EmpowerU or call (602) 650.4861.

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