In this difficult time of ours, people still need to manage their money, so Hillsborough County Extension Service (HCES) is offering a helping hand from a safe distance through several online resources.

HCES is providing a free tax preparation assistance webinar through Wednesday, July 15 for Hillsborough County residents who can connect via web meetings. During the webinar, tax filers will be given access to tax filing software and will receive one-on-one assistance from IRS-trained and certified volunteers.

Appointments are required in advance and can be made for Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

“We will do our best to offer as much one-on-one assistance as possible. Since demand may exceed our capacity, we are also offering free access to this tax prep software,” said Joaquin Larrauri, personal finance program assistant in Hillsborough County and a certified IRS tax volunteer, on the HCES blog.

On Wednesday, May 20 from 11-11:30 a.m., HCES will host its UF/IFAS FCS Nutrition & Finance Hump Day Kahoot Challenge meeting live on Zoom for a nutrition and personal finance fun facts competition with prizes for the top three scores.

Register in advance at (Family & Consumer Sciences faculty are welcome to attend and introduce themselves, but they are not eligible to participate or win prizes).

Starting on Wednesday, May 27, take part in its live webinar, Managing Money in Uncertain Times, from 12 Noon-1:00 p.m. The classes will discuss prioritizing expenses, coronavirus federal economic assistance policies and local community resources.

Register at

On Wednesdays, June 3, 10, 17 and 24, join the four-part webinar series, Developing Your Financial Plan, which will provide tools to help achieve financial goals, including: analyzing your situation and establishing goals, cash flow management, debt management as well as saving and investing for future goals.

Register at

HCES has also recorded several webinars that may be useful to local residents (registration is required to view them). In the Understanding Federal Income Taxes Series, there are three recordings:

Recording session one, Tax Rates, at

Recording session two, Tax Credits & Deductions, at

Recording session three, Free Tax Prep Resources, at

Another recorded webinar, CARES Act: Economic Assistance for Individuals—offered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension in partnership with the Financial Planning Association of Florida—includes educational discussions regarding stimulus payments, retirement plan changes, student loans and more.


Many other helpful resources are also available, such as its free online Building Financial Stability class, an Estate Planning video series and checklist along with a Personal Finance Newsletter subscription that will update you with those newsletters, information about upcoming webinars and classes as well as free tax preparation information.

To find these resources and more, visit

With the newsletter subscription you will also automatically receive the ‘Guide to 10 Essential Online Personal Finance Tools’ article.

“The idea is to provide research-based education, non-biased education, to residents to help them make their lives better and make their communities better,” said Lisa Leslie, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent in Hillsborough County.

For more information, contact Denise Kantak at 744-5519, ext. 54141 or

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Taylor Wells
Taylor Wells is a relatively recently hired news reporter for the Osprey Observer, having been with the paper only since October 8, 2018. Aside from writing articles, he helps edit and upload them to the Osprey Observer site, and is always available to help other staff members in his spare time. He graduated from Saint Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and lives in Valrico.