CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Next week will kick off what can be one of the most stressful times of the year for many tax season. To ease your stress, there are plenty of places to find help around the Lowcountry, like the United Way.

“Trident United Way and SC Thrive have partnered for 8 years now and Trident United Way provides funding to support free tax preparation so that individuals can receive the earned income tax credit. We have 85 clinics and we offer tax services at our Berkeley and Dorchester Prosperity Centers and we’re just pleased to be part of this effort,” said Amanda Lawrence, VP of Community Impact, Trident United Way.

Monday the 29th is the first day you can file your income tax returns. The South Carolina Department of Revenue says electronically is the best way to do that. United Way is setting up nearly 100 clinics throughout Berkeley throughout the Tri-County area. You can make an appointment to attend one of those clinics through the United Way Call Center in Columbia, or you can file yourself with their help.

“They can also do the taxes online themselves, just like with another online service, we’re just free and so they can contact our call center in Columbia at 1-800-726-8774 and have someone go through a pre-screening with them and refer them to an agency where they can make an appointment, it’ll all be transferred so it’s really easy to do that,”  said Katrina Seastrunk, Lowcountry regional coordinator with SC Thrive. 

The help isn’t just for those in the low-income bracket.

“So we really want to make sure folks know that this is not just for low-income or moderate income but that it really has a wide range. We’re hoping to work with young families, single individuals, students especially are great candidates for this program,” said Seastrunk.

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, filing as early as possible is one way to avoid being scammed.