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Success Story: Leah

United Way of Snohomish County: MeagenHave you ever been frustrated trying to file your taxes by yourself? This is Leah’s Story.

Leah is a single mom living in Everett with her nine year old daughter. Leah started working and paying taxes at the age of 18, and every year she would struggle to file them herself or have to pay someone upwards of $200 to file for her.
 
In 2008, Leah went to a tax company to file her taxes.
 
“Later that year, I found out the tax company I went to messed up my tax return and I lost $500 of my refund,” said Leah. “Since coming to United Way’s tax site in 2009, I have always received my maximum refund. I love coming to United Way; their services are fast and accurate.”
 
For Leah, her tax refund is important to her and her daughter. Leah uses her tax refund to help make up for the child support she is not receiving. Her refund allows her daughter to take piano lessons, and gives them a little extra money to do fun family activities.
 
This year was extra special because Leah filed to become an American citizen through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and was sworn in April 19th. Filing for citizenship is expensive, Leah was able to use her tax refund to help pay for the filing process, and still have a cushion of money for her daughter.
 
Leah firmly believes in paying it forward. She wanted to give back to the community because United Way had done so much for her. Leah got involved with United Way’s Day of Caring, where she helped level a soccer field and packaged fresh vegetables to be frozen for families to eat throughout the year.
 
“I am so thankful for being able to use United Way’s free tax return service,” said Leah. “It was very humbling and I was thankful to have those extra funds for whatever we needed such as maintaining my house and keeping extra money for my daughter to have a better living. Thank you, United Way.”
 
Leah is one among 3,616 people throughout Snohomish County that used United Way’s free tax preparation sites. Through our six volunteer-driven free tax preparation sites and our online myfreetaxes.com portal, United Way of Snohomish County was able to help those people file their taxes and claim over $5 Million in refunds, including $1.7 Million in Earned Income Tax Credits.