FARMINGTON — The Western Maine Cash Coalition will host free tax preparation by IRS-certified local community volunteers Jan. 23 through March 22.

The tax site will be open 5:30-8 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays on the third floor of Roberts Learning Center at University of Maine at Farmington. While walk-ins will be served as time permits, participants are encouraged to schedule an appointment to ensure tax preparer availability. For an appointment, call 778-7954.

WMCC is one of ten coalitions in Maine. These coalitions offer free tax preparation as well as empowerment of Maine individuals and families with financial knowhow, to keep and grow resources and financial assets, and in turn, climb the economic ladder for long-term stability.

Last year Cash Maine assisted nearly 4,000 Maine households with free tax preparation and access to resources which helped them save money and make the most of it. More than $6 million in federal refunds were brought in to those who participated in the free tax preparation through Cash Maine.

Volunteer preparers are trained to look for individuals that will qualify for federal tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. $1.9 million in EITC refunds were received last year by those individuals which were eligible to participants in the free tax preparation sessions made possible by Cash Maine.

Learn how to earn, save, and make the most of your money and officially celebrate the launch of the free tax prep program at the “Earn It, Keep It, Grow It” celebration set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at Save-A-Lot, in the Mt Blue Plaza, on the Wilton Road. Food will be available while coalition representatives, legislators and community members talk about the beneficial effects of Cash Maine in Greater Franklin County.

For more information on the celebration, how you can become involved as a volunteer, or what resources the Western Maine Cash Coalition can connect you with, call 778-2757.

Western Maine Cash Coalition members and supporters include: The University of Maine at Farmington; Casey Family Services; United Way of the Tri-Valley Area; Bangor Savings Bank; Foster Technology Center; The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Women, Work & Community; Western Maine Community Action; Key Bank, and the Internal Revenue Service and the John T. Gorman Foundation.