Cash-back tax credits still available to low- to moderate-income families
SAN DIEGO – United Way of San Diego County, 211 San Diego, and the San Diego County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition are excited to announce that through their collaborative efforts to provide free tax preparation services to the community, a total of $38,093,619 were returned back to San Diego County individuals and families through federal and state tax refunds.
“For nearly 20 years, our organization has proudly led the San Diego EITC Coalition in collaboration with 211 San Diego to help hard-working families claim the federal and state tax credits they deserve,” said Nancy L. Sasaki, president and CEO, United Way of San Diego County. “Through the coalition’s tax assistance services, we’re able to put funds back into the pockets of those who need it most, not only giving them peace of mind, but also an opportunity to make ends meet. Our organization works to end the deep disparities that exist in our communities and address family instability throughout our region. To continue that mission, financial security for our community members is critical.”
“Federal and state tax credits can provide much-needed financial relief to families,” said William York, president and CEO of 211 San Diego. “Thankfully, new and existing tax credits and cash-back payments are available to more San Diegans than ever before. We’re proud to work with the EITC Coalition to help spread the word and provide some certainty to hardworking families.”
A jump in numbers
Compared to the previous tax season, during the 2022 tax season the Coalition saw an increase in the number of overall sites and in-person activities with a total of 11 organizations operating in-person, virtual, and drop-off services. A total of 33 sites were open with 22 of them operating in-person, seven virtually, and four offering drop-off services. In 2021, only26 sites were open due to challenges related to the pandemic.
This tax season, the San Diego EITC Coalition completed a total of 41,373 tax returns, which allowed 6,043 households to claim a total of $9,014,145 in Federal EITC credits, 5,015 households to claim $1,046,901 in State CalEITC credits, and 3,850 households to claim $10,205,241 in Child Tax Credits.
Credits that help San Diego families
The EITC helps low- to moderate-income workers and families 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. Combined with the state CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit, taxpayers can receive hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars back on their taxes each year.
The San Diego EITC Coalition is comprised of a body of organizations and providers that are dedicated to providing awareness and access to free tax assistance for families in our community. The coalition is anchored by a partnership among 211 San Diego, United Way of San Diego County, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, the IRS, Dreams for Change, and with 23 coordinating partners.
“Now a single mom of three daughters, the tax prep assistance program truly supported me as a first-time filer,” said Azucena Wells, Just in Time for Foster Youth participant and EITC recipient. “The program representative I worked with gave me the one-on-one assistance I needed, which made me feel secure, reassured, and understood. It was comforting to know that the person sitting across from me knew what she was doing and had my best interest in mind. The funds I got back will not only help me get my girls a bunk bed, but also will go toward gas and entertainment to make more memories with my daughters.” Wells is a La Mesa resident.
Even though the tax deadline has passed, individuals and families can still file their taxes and call 2-1-1 to see if they qualify for tax credits including the federal EITC, the CalEITC, and the YCTC. If they are eligible for free tax preparation, 211’s Community Connectors can schedule an appointment for them. For more information about available tax credits and eligibility, visit 211sandiego.org/taxes or call 2-1-1.
“Filing taxes, especially for foster youth, can be scary. But the tax assistance program is very helpful and makes those worries go away. I look forward to using the program again next year and encourage others to sign up for assistance during tax season to get the support they need,” said Wells.
Submitted by United Way of San Diego County.