By SDCN Editor
San Diego, CA–A new tax season is here and United Way of San Diego County (UWSD), 211 San Diego, and the Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition are providing valuable information on tax credits and free tax preparation services available to hardworking low-and moderate-income individuals and families in San Diego County.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit designed to reduce the tax burden on families and keep them out of poverty. The EITC helps families and individuals that qualify reduce the taxes they owe or increase their refund so they can put more money toward rent, school tuition, utilities, groceries, and other important expenses. It is considered the largest and most powerful anti-poverty program in the nation, and research shows the EITC improves the health and educational outcomes of its beneficiaries and their families at every stage of life. Combined with the federal Child Tax Credit, the state CalEITC, and the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC), taxpayers can receive hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars back on their taxes. In 2021, Governor Newsom and the California State Legislature expanded the CalEITC and YCTC to all California tax filers, including undocumented Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) filers who meet the other eligibility criteria.
The EITC Coalition is anchored by a partnership among United Way of San Diego County, 211 San Diego, the IRS, and the County of San Diego. Its partner organizations and providers provide a clear pathway to tax assistance for our community and together, they ensure San Diego County families can prepare their taxes and claim federal and state tax credits they earned.
Last year by the numbers
In 2021, UWSD, 211 San Diego and the EITC Coalition:
- Returned a total of $28,034,865 back to San Diego County individuals and families through federal and state tax refunds
- Assisted 15,556 individuals who received free tax preparation assistance
- Helped clients save over $2.9 million in tax preparation fees
- Completed a total of 29,876 tax returns, which allowed 3,896 filers to claim a total of $6,945,963 from the federal EITC, 5,062 filers to claim a total of $998,857 from the CalEITC, and 3,236 filers to claim a total of $6,416,316 from the Young Child Tax Credit
“In communities across San Diego, many of our neighbors face financial barriers that create obstacles to building and sustaining healthy lives. Cashback tax credits provide a critical, immediate financial boost to working families, but many people don’t even know they’re eligible,” said William York, President and CEO of 211 San Diego. “As a longtime partner of the State of California and the EITC Coalition, we are committed to helping eligible families navigate the tax process and ensuring more equitable access to these credits that have the potential to set children and families up for success.”
“As we head into a third year of the pandemic, it’s more crucial than ever to continue supporting our San Diegans in need of financial support,” says Nancy Sasaki, President, and CEO of United Way of San Diego County. “These individuals and families need a helping hand to make ends meet during these uncertain times. By providing free tax preparation services to help them receive the federal and state tax credits they earned and deserve, we hope to provide them relief and reassurance. Through the EITC Coalition, we’re not only addressing family instability but also strengthening our communities by ending the deep disparities that exist.”
Individuals and families can call 2-1-1 to see if they qualify for the federal EITC and CTC, as well as the state CalEITC and YCTC. If you are eligible for free tax preparation, 211 can schedule an appointment for you. For more information about available tax credits, visit 211sandiego.org/taxes or call 2-1-1.
Volunteers are also needed to help people file their taxes for free. Dreams for Change can train you to become an IRS Certified Tax Preparer. For more information on how to get involved, visit dreamsforchange.org.