February 13, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Tax time is rarely a time that people look forward to. Even if you’re getting a refund, there’s still a bunch of paperwork, numbers and calculations to go through. But, what if you could get free help with your taxes? Better yet, what if at the same time, you could also find out what benefits you qualify for, like CalFresh or discounts on your SDG&E bill?
Nationally, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is considered the largest and most powerful anti-poverty program, offering free tax assistance. As the leader of the local EITC coalition, United Way, along with the IRS, County of San Diego and other corporate funders, completed 23,355 tax forms and brought $10.4 million in credits back to residents in the 2012 tax season.
“Countywide, there are many people who are eligible for free tax help, but never use this service,” said Shaina Gross, United Way’s vice president, impact strategies and mobilization. “If your household income is $51,000 or less, you may be eligible, and we encourage you to use the resources available.”
EITC is a refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income working families and individuals. In many cases, eligible taxpayers will get money back: If the amount you owe in taxes is less than the amount of EITC you’re eligible for, you will receive a government check for the difference. EITC is also retroactive for three years.
For more information, visit http://www.uwsd.org and click on the Tax button on the lower left corner.
East County EITC Sites
Free tax sites with benefits screening, such as CalFresh, MediCal and SDG&E bill assistance:
Home Start – Little House in El Cajon and at the Spring Valley Library
Contact: 619-283-3624 or firstname.lastname@example.org
International Rescue Committee (IRC) – El Cajon
AARP – taxes only:
Edgemoor Hospital – Santee
La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center – La Mesa
San Diego County Library – El Cajon
San Diego County Library Rancho San Diego – El Cajon