This tax season marks the 10th anniversary of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day to help promote the national tax benefit that lifts more Americans out of poverty than any other federal program.
The realities faced by low to mid-income working families were the focus of the United Way ALICE Report. Our communities rely on these hard working ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families for whom tax credits and refunds can mean the difference between a prosperous new year and financial crisis.
During this tax season, households that earned less than $53,000 in 2015 are eligible for free, in person tax preparation services by an IRS-certified preparer at an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Site (VITA), and families earning up to $62,000 can use MyFreeTaxes.com to file at no cost to them.
Branches, which houses and operates United Way of Miami-Dade’s Center for Financial Stability, serves as home base for the VITA program in Miami-Dade, coordinating more than 40 sites that offer free tax preparation across the county. In Broward, United Way’s Mobile Resource Center, along with VITA employees, tour the county to provide free tax preparation in the area.
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Across the state, 32 United Ways are urging the 2016 Florida Legislature to invest $1.2 million to expand access to free tax preparation and financial stability programs. You can support this statewide budget request with emails, letters and calls to legislators.
Today, United Ways locally and across the nation are joining the IRS, elected officials, colleges and countless other partners to officially launch tax season and raise awareness for important tax credits. For more information, visit www.MyFreeTaxes.com or call 211 to find free tax preparation sites.
Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade
Kathleen Cannon, president and CEO, United Way of Broward County