Gold 6 is assisting United Way by preparing taxes for low to median income Seattleites. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Brown

Gold 6 is assisting United Way by preparing taxes for low to median income Seattleites. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Brown

Youth Help Low-Income Seattlelites File Taxes

The AmeriCorps NCCC offers free tax preparations at 30 locations throughout King County until April.

At 19 years old, Kimberly Brown has never done her own taxes before. Yet since January, Brown and 13 of her AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps colleagues ages 18 to 24 have filed taxes for over 1,000 people for free, amounting to $2 million in returns. After two days of tax preparation training, the group is now serving low to median income families who make below $66,000 per year.

AmeriCorps NCCC members complete service projects related to environmental conservation, infrastructure improvement, and urban development over 10 months. Brown’s AmeriCorps NCCC group called Gold 6, recently completed a few months of disaster relief service following Hurricane Harvey in Texas. After “mucking and gutting homes” that were destroyed by the hurricane, Brown said that they’re now focusing on interpersonal relations by filing taxes with non-profit United Way of King County. Group 6 will serve at 30 locations throughout King County until April 3.

“It fills the need of a vulnerable population in Seattle,” Brown said. “People who can’t afford to pay to have their taxes done can come here and get them done for free and a lot of people who try to do them by themselves … don’t know about all the credits that they can receive, so our main goal is to also get them back as much money as possible.” This is especially important in Seattle, where over 900,000 tax returns filed in the area were by people who reported making less than $50,000, according to a Seattle Times report.

Brown has seen the impact that she’s made on people who need it the most. When Brown was preparing taxes at the Douglass-Truth branch of the Seattle Public Library last week, she helped a woman who feared the amount she would owe. She’d had to sell her condominium last year because she couldn’t continue paying the mortgage. But much to the client’s surprise, she received a $900 tax return. Brown wasn’t phased because she’s sometimes found as much as $7,000 in returns by the end of a preparation. “But she immediately started crying. She couldn’t believe it,” Brown recounted. “It was just a really touching story and she was very excited to get money back, to have that help, and to hopefully get her foot in the door, so she can … have a grasp on her financial responsibilities throughout the next year.”

mhellmann@seattleweekly.com




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

The Monroe Correctional Complex on April 9, 2020. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Formerly incarcerated people regain right to vote in Washington

Rights restored immediately upon release.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Salmon update: King County wants cleaner water, more habitat

Salmon and orcas are in the spotlight once again as King County… Continue reading

Guns seized during April 7 arrests (photo credit: Dept. of Justice)
More than 20 arrested across the Puget Sound in drug distribution conspiracy

DOJ says law enforcement agencies seized over 70 guns and hundreds of thousands in cash.

T
Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded… Continue reading

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. File photo
King County needs more lawyers to attack backlog of cases

6,107 open cases is double the normal amount for King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County
Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older is eligible for a vaccine

Gov. Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Phase Finder for vaccine eligibility to be eliminated March 31

Eligibility verification via Phase Finder no longer required for appointments, vaccinations beginning this week.

Courtesy photo
Issaquah School District settles negligence lawsuit for $4.25 million

The lawsuit alleged the district covered for a now-convicted child molester while he was a teacher.

Sound Publishing file photo
More people can get the COVID vaccine on March 31, but supply is still limited

The number of people eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is set… Continue reading

Kindergarten and first grade students line up outside of Panther Lake Elementary in Federal Way on March 15. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Inslee: K-12 schools can reduce COVID social distancing

The governor reduced social distancing requirements for K-12 classrooms from 6 feet to 3 feet.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. (Wikimedia Commons)
Insurers told to stop using credit scores to set rates

A ban of that practice will be in place until the pandemic is over, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says.