With the holidays behind us and the New Year underway, many Central Floridians are turning their attention to tax time, which is why United Way is promoting the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), as well as free tax preparation sites that help hardworking people keep more of the money they’ve earned.
Credited with lifting more children out of poverty that any other federal program, EITC offers tax credits ranging from $5,751 to $461, which can make a life-changing difference for qualified residents who are struggling to make ends meet.
Promoted through United Way’s Prosperity Campaign of Central Florida, EITC helps families reduce debt, build savings or pay for rent, groceries, car repairs or any ordinary expense.
Nearly 30 Sites Offering Free Tax Help
Even better, with more than 30 FREE tax preparation sites available February through April, people can claim 100% of their refund, usually within 10 days or less.
“Because some commercial tax services charge exorbitant fees, United Way is urging residents to hold on until February 1 and take full advantage of the free tax help,” said Mark Batchelor, Financial Stability Coordinator for Heart of Florida United Way. Locations and hours for the sites, operated through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, will be available soon on United Way’s website, www.hfuw.org.
$2.5 Billion Local Economic Boost
In addition to helping people make ends meet, EITC also provides a significant economic boost for Central Florida, where more than $2.5 billion in EITC refunds have been claimed over the past seven years. “Since the majority of EITC dollars are spent on goods and services right here in our local community, local businesses and merchants also benefit,” Batchelor said.
In recognition of EITC’s tremendous impact, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, The Wells Fargo Foundation and The Wal-Mart Foundation are providing additional support for EITC and United Way’s other efforts to help families improve their financial stability.
So if you have employees, co-workers, neighbors or friends who may qualify for EITC, please tell them to visit www.hfuw.org or simply dial 2-1-1. Additional information is also available through the IRS, by clicking here.