When you finally land that job you've been hoping for, you don't let anything get in your way--not even being homeless. Things had finally turned around for Jesse and he was grateful to be working at a production warehouse, but he still wasn't able to afford an apartment. But when Jesse had has taxes prepared at United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site, he found out that he'd be getting the Earned Income Credit. He and his wife Juana used their return to move out of their car and into a home.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps millions of workers like Jesse keep more of what they earn to pay for things like reliable transportation to get to work, housing, and food, and United Way helps people claim the EITC at tax time. Just last year, United Way of Southern Cameron County and our partners. through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and MyFreeTaxes.com, helped connect hundreds of local people to nearly $9 million in tax refunds--money coming back into our community and being spent at local businesses.
But we need your help in two ways:
- Advocate to Expand the EITC. We know EITC works, yet some working Americans are excluded from the powerful, proven impacts of the EITC. In fact, about 7.5 million Americans are actually taxed into poverty largely because they are ineligible for the EITC or the EITC is too small. We can change that by raising our voices together--learn more and take action.
- Spread the Word--Help family and friends connect to the EITC. One in five who are eligible for the EITC are leaving money on the table--money that can make a big difference in paying bills and putting food on the table. Anyone earning $64,000 or less in 2016 can do their taxes for free at MyFreeTaxes.com and can connect to any credits for which they are eligible. Or, anyone earning $54,000 or less is eligible to visit our free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites and have their taxes prepared and e-filed for free by an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer. A list of sites, hours, and documents needed is here.
By connecting local community members like Jesse to existing resources and advocating to expand what works, you can make a difference today. Please join us and #LiveUnited.