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United Way Looking for Volunteer Tax Preparers

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MORRIS COUNTY — As a volunteer tax preparer for United Way of Northern New Jersey’s free tax preparation program earlier this year, Sharareh relished helping clients save hundreds in tax preparer fees and perhaps receive a refund. She knew firsthand what it was like to struggle financially and receive some much-needed relief.  

“I’ve been in that situation before,” said Sharareh, who years earlier found herself a client of United Way’s free tax preparation program. When the timing was right, she didn’t hesitate to give back and become a volunteer.

“It just makes me happy that I’m doing something and helping someone,” said Sharareh. “It’s joyful.” 

United Way has launched its recruitment campaign for volunteer tax preparers to have trained volunteers across its five-county footprint of Morris, Suburban Essex, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties.

Like Sharareh, area residents can make a difference by signing up as volunteer tax preparers for the upcoming tax season. Volunteers help ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and households in poverty throughout the northern New Jersey region avoid the high cost of preparation fees.

“Becoming a volunteer tax preparer is a tangible way to make a difference in the lives of those struggling to afford life’s basics,” said United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO Kiran Handa Gaudioso. “By helping ALICE avoid high preparation fees and receive tax credits for which they are eligible, much-needed funds are put back into their wallets and the local economy.” 

Like volunteers before her, Sharareh learned that not having an accounting background or any prior experience wasn’t an issue. A free training course taught her what she needed to know, and fellow volunteers and United Way staff were always on hand to answer any questions and review her work.

During the last tax season, Sharareh was among the 200 volunteers who helped United Way of Northern New Jersey and its partners — Norwescap, Greater Providence Missionary Baptist Church, and the IRS — file an estimated 5,000 returns for free. This collaboration saved struggling families $1.5 million in tax preparation costs.

“What you accomplish at the end is worth it,” Sharareh said.

For more information about becoming a volunteer tax preparer, email Monica.Conover@UnitedWayNNJ.org, call (973) 993-1160 x529 or click here.

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, Lt. Governor of Division 9 Kiwanis Club of NJ, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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