Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


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 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

International Rescue Committee (IRC) – El Cajon

Contact: 619-440-6208

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

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.


I wonder how enthusiastic the

I wonder how enthusiastic the supervisors would be about the prospect of massive wind and solar farms in districts one, three and four? How 'bout some five hundred foot turbines right off the beaches of La Jolla and Del Mar? After all, there's plenty of wind out there. Think Cox, Roberts (#1 and #2) would be as ready to desecrate the seascapes of their elite, wine-sipping coastal supporters as they have the landscape of East County? Ya, right. It may sound unrealistic, but why shouldn't the rural communities of the East County secede? They are being sold-out by a group of elected officials who obviously know little about havoc they're wrecking and care even less.