Although several programs exist to lift low-income working families out of poverty, not everyone has the resources to access them. For example, the Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal tax credit for people who work but do not earn high incomes. Taxpayers who quality for and claim the credit pay less federal tax, pay no tax at all, or even get a tax refund. Yet an estimated 20% of eligible low-income families are unaware of the EITC– leaving an estimated $38 million unclaimed, rather than in the pockets of those who need it most.
We educate and raise awareness. Last year, 457 trained volunteers committed over 22,500 hours to prepare over 10,100 tax returns. As a result, more than $16.8 million was returned to the local economy, including over $6.9 million in Earned Income Tax Credit refunds to low-income, hard-working families.
As part of our smart investments to help financially struggling families thrive, United Way leads a partnership of nonprofit and governmental organizations called the Free Tax Prep Campaign. Each tax season, we recruit and train hundreds of community volunteers to help low–income, working families file their tax returns. Families served save money by avoiding costly tax filing fees and are assisted to ensure they receive their full refund at tax time – money they can put toward the costs of basic needs like food and housing.
You can help by serving as a volunteer tax preparer or by providing funding to support volunteer recruitment and management, outreach to eligible tax payers, appointment scheduling and site operation.
You don’t have to be a professional tax accountant to help us serve low-income, working families. Volunteers are from all walks of life and will be trained and certified to meet the needs of those we serve.
Choose the Donate or Volunteer button below to see how you can make a difference!
In the 2017 tax season
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© 2018 United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, 1250 Penn Ave, 1st Floor, Pittsburgh PA 15222
*Now a part of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, serving Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette & Southern Armstrong Counties