Access to Tax Credits - Free Tax Preparation
The IRS estimates the average taxpayer spends $200 on tax preparation services each year. In an effort to help people save more of what they earn, we are helping low-to-moderate income families in our community by preparing their state and federal returns for free through the Free Tax Preparation Program. In addition to free preparation of their income tax returns, participants are able to identify potential tax credits (EITC, Child Care, Child & Dependent Care, Energy Efficiency).
Identification and reimbursement for these tax credits alone, brought back an additional $1.2 million into our community during the 2011 tax season.
We also hope to continue to expand this program, by pre-screening clients for public benefits (monetary, nutritional, healthcare, housing assistance, child care, energy assistance), assisting eligible workers to identify & navigate employer-matched 401-K or health programs, and ensuring community members have proper identification to access benefits.
We are also in the planning and discovery phase of adding workforce development programs to our Income work. These plans are a direct result of our community conversations, where Central City neighbors have expressed the need and desire for skilled workforce training.