WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) – Documents, deadlines and a foreign language can make filing taxes a confusing process for immigrants living in the United States.

Mi Casa’s Taxpayer Advocacy Program makes the process easier. Staff members prepare individual tax returns and educate clients about their responsibilities.

“Some of them are undocumented, but they still have the obligation to file and pay their part of their taxes,” interim Executive Director Nilda Cardenas de Lara said. “They want to do what they can legally, and that’s what we’re here for – to give them the tools necessary to be able to be part of this community.”

Tax preparation services are low-cost or even free for people who need them.

A grant from The Women’s Fund strategic initiative of The Winston-Salem Foundation allows Mi Casa to reach more clients.

“Thanks to The Women’s Fund, we are open seven days a week,” Cardenas de Lara said. “We have extended our hours during the week, as well, to be able to accommodate all those who work and are not able to come in during the week and need to come in on the weekends.”

The nonprofit provides legal services and translation resources year-round. Frida Ayala is an administrative assistant who says building trust is essential to serving the immigrant community. Because staff members are working with sensitive information, they are careful to treat each case confidentially.

“If you know you can rely on one another for help and for guidance especially, I think it just helps foster that feeling of community,” Ayala said.

Mi Casa helps client Heyda Aragon with her taxes each year. Representatives also guided her through the process to become a U.S. citizen. She says she is grateful for kind people who work with her best interest in mind.

“It’s a place where you feel like you can trust people – that they are going to keep you safe.”

You can learn more about Mi Casa’s services online or support them with a monetary donation or by volunteering.

Donations of office supplies are also useful during tax season.