It may only be mid-January, but tax season will soon be here.


On Saturday, United Way held their annual, free, tax preparation event.

Filing your taxes can be daunting, but United Way tries to make it a bit easier and affordable to people in the area with their annual event.


Marybelle Martin, the Program Director for United Way of Erie Free Taxes explained the savings that came with their event, "Currently tax preparation on average cost about $270. So that's a significant savings for our filers."


People could bring their tax documents and experts could help them fill it out at eighteen different sites in Erie and Crawford county, including the Booker T. Washington Center.


Tina Gilmore, the Finance Director and head of Human Resources at the Booker T. Washington Center explained how the process works at their location, "We take everything. We make copies of their I.D. and a social security card. We tell them to come back the next business day, so I can go over their return with them. So they see if anything is wrong or they don't feel like something's right. So we can, you know, talk to each other and try to figure this stuff out. Once we figure everything out, they give me it."


Judy Weber was one of the many people who took advantage of the free service on Saturday. She said, "It's a great opportunity for everyone to check out and have free service. I mean, you can't beat that and like I said, the knowledge that they have is above and beyond amazing."


The free tax program has been going on for years, since 2007, and officials said they have seen more and more people take an interest in getting their taxes done early.


Mayor Joe Schember was on hand as the event got underway and agreed getting your taxes done early is a smart move. "I think the earlier the better because you never know what might happen, if you put it off too long and something may happen that prevent you from getting it done. Now you're paying penalties and interest and you know, so get it done as soon as you can.", said Mayor Schember.


United Way has sites open for tax preparation help every day starting Monday.

Meantime, the Booker T. Washington Center has tax help Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m. and then Saturday from 9:00 am.-1:00 p.m.