This tax season, United Ways across the country are celebrating a proven tool that helps thousands of workers nationwide keep more of what they earn to pay for things like reliable transportation to get to work, child care, housing and food. We’re celebrating that Congress took action at the end of 2015 to save this resource: the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
We’re tipping our hat to the EITC and what it means to working families in Northeast Florida. Research finds that the EITC encourages work, supports family financial stability and leads to long-term gains in child health and academic success.
Beyond the data, we see the power of the credit firsthand because we, our community partners and hundreds of volunteers each year take action to connect thousands of local residents to FREE tax prep-services and information on the EITC. Last tax season alone, in partnership with AARP, United Way of Northeast Florida’s RealSense initiative helped more than 20,000 area residents file their taxes for free, saving them nearly $4.6 million in tax-prep fees. We are on track to not only meet, but exceed, these numbers this year.
And as tax season kicks off, we want to make sure our community connects to EITC through our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) tax sites — more than 60 across Northeast Florida — and MyFreeTaxes.com, where individuals or families earning $62,000 or less in 2015 can file their state and local taxes for free online. Questions? Reach out to our RealSense volunteer and tax site manager, Rebecca Thompson.