Although programs exist to lift low-income working families out of poverty, not everyone has the knowledge to access them. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) 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.
This past year, United Way trained 494 volunteers, who committed 16,000 hours to prepare nearly 11,000 families’ tax returns. Many families served would have never filed on their own. Through Free Tax Prep they avoid costly tax filing fees and receive on-time refunds they can put toward the costs of basic needs like food and housing. As a result of this program, $15.4 million was returned to the local economy, including $6 million in Earned Income Tax Credit refunds.
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.
In the 2018 tax season
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United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, 1250 Penn Ave, 1st Floor, Pittsburgh PA 15222
*Now a part of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, serving Allegheny, Butler, Westmoreland, Fayette & Southern Armstrong Counties