Filling out tax forms can be overwhelming for just about anyone, but for newly arrived refugees, it’s nearly impossible.
Without assistance from qualified tax preparers, refugees are prone to making mistakes that can trigger an audit or keep them from getting their full refund.
This year, the Minnesota Department of Revenue is hosting two free tax clinics at Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM) to help refugees from Burma file their federal, state and property tax returns.
Paula Gizachew and Chue Yee of the Department of Revenue assisted 18 households during the first tax clinic held on February 22.
Paw Moo, who arrived in the United States in 2012, said she was very grateful to receive help since she did not feel confident filling out the tax forms by herself.
“In here, it feels safer because they help you with everything,” she said.
“It feels safer because they help you with everything.” – Paw Moo, free tax preparation customerShe was excited to learn she will receive a refund this year and said she plans to keep the money in savings “just in case.”
While all appointments at KOM’s tax clinics have been filled, refugees needing tax assistance are welcome to visit another site in the metro area. (Refugees who do not speak English should bring their own interpreter or find a tax site that provides interpreters.)
The Minnesota Department of Revenue operates several free tax clinics for low income people through a grant from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Services are provided by staff and volunteers from the Department of Revenue at no cost to participants. To learn more about these free tax preparation sites, visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website.
Thank you to the Karen Organization of Minnesota for providing this story. The Karen Organization of Minnesota’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for Karen and other refugees from Burma in Minnesota.