Takina: A single mother working hard but staying positive

Takina, our tax program clientFor people who are trying hard to make ends meet every month, getting as big an income tax refund as possible is critical. But that can be hard to do.

There is no shortage of services that promise to help you maximize your refund, but they typically take a piece of it. This was the dilemma that Takina, a single mother of three, faced each year until she came to Just Harvest.

Takina works in the day as a disabilities services driver and deeply enjoys her work because it perfectly fits her personality; she gets to meet a lot of new people, talk with them, and be of help in the ways she can. Before this, she was a school bus driver for eight years, and is constantly working. When she isn’t, Takina does what busy working parents do: try to catch up on sleep and spend quality time with her children of 15, 9, and 2 years of age.

She spoke with a smile and a little laugh every once in awhile, even when her words indicated how hard life can sometimes be for her and her family. In those moments of talking about life’s hiccups and hardships, Takina would continually focus on the positive in her life: the joys of being a mother and of the work she does, and what her tax refund means for her family.

Just Harvest and its partners in the Money In Your Pocket Coalition provide free tax services to qualifying Allegheny County citizens. Our IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers helps every one of our clients gets as much of their earned wages as possible by making sure they access whatever tax credits they can, like the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Care Tax Credit.

For Takina, this has meant having a tax refund that will help cover her bills.

When she first came to Just Harvest for help filing her taxes in 2015, after years of having to pay for TurboTax, she immediately saw a difference in the money she got back in her tax refund: around $400 more.

As a single mom with three busy and active young children, money often comes and goes rather quickly. Takina’s free tax refund provided her a true financial cushion to help cover the unexpected costs that can be so hard on a single mother.

The opportunity to have extra money back from what she’d paid in taxes means Takina can actually pay her bills on time. This also affords her more peace of mind and more quality time with her fast-growing little ones.

Takina has been telling friends and family about her experience with Just Harvest’s free tax service, and now her boyfriend is getting free help with his taxes at Just Harvest too!


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