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Goodwill Hawaii looks to expand reach of tax clinics

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii is hoping to increase the number of people served by its free tax filing assistance clinics by nearly 50 percent this year.

The nonprofit has partnered with the Internal Revenue Service and Aloha United Way for the past decade to offer free tax preparation clinics for individuals or families who earned $54,000 or less in the year prior.

tax​Goodwill Hawaii is hoping to increase the number of people served by its free tax… more


Last year, the nonprofit helped about 1,400 households with federal and Hawaii state tax returns. Each household assisted by Goodwill received an average tax refund of $2,175. Seven clinics will launch on Oahu, the Big Island, Maui and Kauai on Feb. 2.

“With more locations we hope to be able to serve more people — our goal is to serve 2,000 people,” said Katy Chen, chief administrative officer of Goodwill Hawaii. “Over half of our volunteers return every year but we will need more.”

Chen hopes to recruit 90 volunteers compared to last year’s 60. Volunteers are from universities, the public and private sectors.

Volunteers from the Bank of Hawaii have worked at the clinics since 2011, and about 25 are expected to participate this year.

“[The tax preparation clinics are] a way for our employees to ‘pay it forward’ by using their expertise in finance to help eligible families save the cost of having their tax returns prepared, as well as making sure that eligible families are leveraging tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit and child-care credits,” said Scott Fujii, Bank of Hawaii’s vice president and community reinvestment act officer.


eleni-gill-new-112This article originated from Pacific Business News; written by Lorin Eleni Gill ; and published Jan 20, 2016, 1:26pm HST
Lorin Eleni Gill covers tourism, health care, nonprofits and the University of Hawaii for Pacific Business News.