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Helping prepare taxes for free is in this Virginia woman’s blood

<i>WTVR</i><br/>As a third-generation tax preparer
Willingham, James
As a third-generation tax preparer

By Brendan King

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    HENRICO COUNTY, Virginia (WTVR) — Cara Cardotti recalled growing up and watching her grandfather give back to his community before he passed away.

“When my grandfather was still alive, he was connected to another free tax program through the AARP and he loved helping the community members at the library. My mom got involved and then I’ve been involved as well,” she stated.

As a third-generation tax preparer, Cardotti has lead the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg’s tax assistance program as director since 2014.

She has been connected to the free program itself in different capacities since 2005.

“I really get to think a lot about helping people and making that connection through a number of years and it’s really made a difference,” Cardotti explained.

United Way’s team of IRS-certified tax preparers and volunteers will prepare income tax returns for qualifying families and individuals with incomes of $64,000 or less at 11 tax prep sites located throughout the city of Richmond and in the counties of Goochland, Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover, according to a press release.

Cardotti and her team of volunteers aim to increase eligibility awareness for refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal tax credit for working people with low and moderate incomes, that many people miss claiming.

“I think the great thing about the program is we help folks get access to credits that they would be eligible for as part of a family,” she said.

The United Way also works alongside The Sacred Heart Center in Richmond to provide assistance for customers who speak Spanish and Portuguese.

The tax assistance program offers multiple ways for customers to receive tax assistance.

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