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Free Tax Preparation for Low-Income Families in San Diego

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It’s that time of the year again to get your income taxes filed, and you might be able to get them done for free.

The County is once again teaming up with its local partners to help low-income families or individuals prepare their taxes at no cost.

The free tax preparation will take place until April 16 at dozens of locations throughout the county. The only requirement for the free service is that filers meet income requirements.

“We want people to claim their Earned Income Tax Credit and to keep more of their hard-earned money, money that could be spent here and support our local economy,” said County Supervisor Greg Cox.

The annual free tax preparation services are part of the annual Earned Income Tax Credit campaign, which began in 2003 and is conducted by local non-profit organizations located throughout the region and supported by the County Health and Human Services Agency’s Community Action Partnership, the IRS, AARP, United Way of San Diego County and 2-1-1 San Diego.

The campaign helps residents claim their EITC, the federal government’s largest assistance program to support low- to moderate-income families. The IRS estimates that between 20 and 25 percent of eligible people do not claim their EITC each year.

As part of the campaign, you can have your taxes prepared for you, prepare them yourself with assistance from a volunteer or do them on your own by visiting myfreetaxes.org.  To receive free services, all you have to do is call 2-1-1 to make an appointment at a site near you.

The free tax preparation campaign aims to get people out of poverty and help them thrive, one of the goals of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision.

Individuals and families who worked in 2017 and earned less than $53,505 could qualify for as much as $6,318 in federal EITC tax credit. The California credit could be as little as $223 or as much as $2,775. Residents must file a tax return to be eligible for both credits.

Last year, EITC campaign volunteers in San Diego filed more than 31,000 federal and state tax returns, bringing about $35.6 million in total refunds to local working families and individuals. About $15 million of the refund amount was EITC dollars.

 

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact