For Immediate Release
Contact: Marika Rose, email@example.com 916-601-9737
LA Community Event Helped Working Families Tap Hundreds of Millions in State and Federal Earned Income Tax Credit
Working mother receives $6,500 refund
LOS ANGELES –CalEITC4Me, a public-private campaign to get the word out about the new California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) on Saturday launched the 2016 tax season countdown with a community event at Puente Learning Center in Los Angeles.
More than 700 families were served at the Free Tax Prep and Resource Fair where 30 volunteer tax preparers were on hand to prepare and electronically file Federal and State taxes and provide screenings to determine eligibility for Federal and State EITC.
“All of California’s working families deserve economic security. California’s EITC is a step in that direction and in recent weeks, over 200,000 thousand California families have already claimed their refund, receiving much needed funds that help pay the rent, put food on the table and cover other important life necessities,” added Joseph N. Sanberg, CalEITC4Me Chair. “As we count down to tax day, our goal is to help every eligible Californian file their taxes for free using easy online tools, or by visiting a free tax preparation VITA site in their neighborhood. “
For the first time, nearly 175,000 Los Angeles County residents are eligible for California EITC and through the new earned income tax credit they can receive an average of $900 cash back at tax time. Historically, California is ranked among the lowest in filing for the Federal EITC. Last year, working California families and individuals left $1.8 billion that they had earned unclaimed.
During the one-day fair, 100 tax returns were filed and one of the largest refunds of the day was $6,500 for a working mother, Angelica, who will use the tax credit refund to pay bills and take her family out for a rare treat. “I’m feeling so good,” she said. “You cannot imagine how hard it is to have four children to feed. The cost of living right now is outrageous.”
“Our goal is to ensure that every eligible working family and individual claims what they’ve earned,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar. “The extra income available through CalEITC and Federal EITC improves the quality–of-life for working families in Los Angeles. Today’s event allowed us to make a difference while partnering with community groups, volunteers, and families for a day of fun and free tax preparation.”
Those who earned up to $54,000 in 2015 can calculate their tax credit refund and file tax returns for free with user-friendly, multilingual online tools created and donated by Intuit, Inc., a partner in of the CalEITC4Me campaign, including:
- Eligibility Calculator– Families and individuals can find out if they are eligible and how much their EITC credit could be at http://caleitc4me.org/earn-it/.
- Free Tax Prep Finder – By entering city, zip code or address eligible families and individuals can find convenient free tax prep locations in their neighborhoods. For appointments, visit http://caleitc4me.org/get-it/.
Californians must file their taxes by April 18 to qualify for the new credit.
CalEITC4Me is a public-private partnership to spread awareness of the first-ever state Earned Income Tax Credit and put more money into the hands of hard-working Californians. CalEITC4ME is a one-stop, multilingual online hub of information and interactive resources. Innovative online tools have been developed to include the CalEITC4Me Calculator, a user-friendly tool, created for California by the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, where individuals can determine their new state and federal EITC eligibility and potential refund in a few easy steps; the Free Tax Prep Finder which connects families to local free tax preparation services; and the interactive CalEITC4Me Heat Map that allows nonprofits, government agencies and others to identify key regions of eligible filers by ZIP code and other searchable criteria. To learn more about CalEITC4Me, click here. To learn more about Golden State Opportunity, click here. Follow the event on social media at Twitter handle @CalEITC4Me and Facebook.com/CalEITC4Me.