Tax help

Two very different groups with a similar purpose opened their doors this weekend to try and help low-income families make sure they have their taxes filed and all-important refunds taken care of.

The Birmingham IRS office opened from 9-2 Saturday to help low-income families file their taxes for free.

Many of them may qualify for extra tax credits they haven't had in past years.

"A lot of people had to get unemployment and there's a benefit for that," said Birmingham IRS spokesperson Zuri Crawford. "So you have a lot of expanded benefits that people have questions about."

"They're very helpful," said Michelle Stephens, a taxpayer who came to the IRS office for help. "Very efficient, didn't have to wait a long time to get in, answered all my questions, I really appreciate their help this year."

"I think it's a good service they've got here where you can come out on Saturdays and get your taxes done, that way you don't lose no time for work," said fellow taxpayer Roger Littleton. "So I appreciate them doing it."

"A lot of people aren't able to come in during the week from 8-4:30 when our office is normally open," Crawford said. "So they extended through Saturday and are just trying to make it accessible to more people."

Refunds were also priority one at UAB, where accounting students volunteered their time and growing expertise to help low-income taxpayers make sense of their W-2's.

"This particularly economic trying time, it's important that individuals have an opportunity to receive those refunds so that they can move ahead in their personal financial situations," said UAB accounting instructor Beth Stringer. "That's giving back to the community, but getting experience as though they were working for a firm. So that's kind of a win-win situation."

The IRS has 120 tax help sites set up throughout the state to provide free tax prep to families making less than $49,000 a year.

To find the one closest to you, call 1-800-906-9887.