Upcoming community session dives into the details

By Aaron Cahall

Chase Brexton Health Care

Tax preparation can be a challenging, confusing, and even dreaded obstacle for many, but help is available!

Individuals seeking some simple strategies for tax season, or looking for resources to get help, can find the answers they need at the next LGBTQ Community Connection session. The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, March 9th from 1 to 2:30 pm and will be hosted by the CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Campaign of Maryland. Learn more about the session and how to join at Chasebrexton.org/LGBTQCommunityMar2023.

We asked Rob Bader, director of tax operations with the CASH Campaign, for a preview of the tips to be offered.

What are some new wrinkles in tax preparation – or often overlooked ones – that people should know about this year?

There are important changes in tax filing for this tax season! Most of the COVID-related exemptions are now gone:

Unemployment payments are now fully taxable on both Maryland and Federal returns

Child and Dependent Care Credit is reduced and is now non-refundable (it was refundable last year)

Child Tax Credit is reduced and is now partially refundable

No stimulus payments

For tax years 2020 and 2021 the Federal and state governments helped taxpayers by reducing taxes on unemployment and boosting many credits. Most of these were removed for tax year 2022, so plan for a reduced refund or to owe money due to those changes.

What specific challenges might LGBTQ individuals face at tax time?

Since tax returns are based on income and not sexual orientation or gender identification, LGBTQ individuals face the same concerns and problems as those who don’t identify that way. LGBTQ people can be parents, married, or single – those are all statuses that can affect taxes.

What resources does the CASH Campaign of Maryland offer to help with tax preparation or ways to control your financial future?

The CASH Campaign provides free tax preparation services for taxpayers with 2022 household income of $60,000 or less. Many of the preparers are volunteers who attend extensive annual training then are certified yearly by the IRS. 

Why waste your money on paid preparers when you can get your tax done for free by CASH? Appointments at Bmorefreetaxes.org or call 410-234-8008 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 2 pm. That website also has free tax software if you want to do your own taxes. CASH can even screen people for 25 different benefits. Learn to control your financial future at Money Power Day on March 18th, the region’s largest free financial fitness fair for the whole family, held 9 am to 3 pm at Poly-Western High School (1400 West Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore). An energy-packed, fun and informative day! Learn more at Moneypowerday.org.

How can individuals get organized during the year to ensure that their tax preparation goes more smoothly?

The CASH Campaign needs taxpayers to collect all tax forms from employers, unemployment, financial institutions, or any taxable entity in 2022. This includes income but also forms for items like mortgage interest, healthcare, childcare, and education. 

The CASH Campaign’s free tax prep sites require the taxpayer’s ID as well as social security cards for the taxpayer(s) and all dependents. Find a complete list of what you need to bring at Bmorefreetaxes.org

If you want your refund as soon as possible, make sure to have your routing number and account number ready. No one can get you your refund quicker than CASH can! CASH can even help you open a safe, no or low-cost bank account if you don’t have one already! Learn more at BankOnMaryland.org.