Pandemic-proof services ensure access to tax credits, even for those filing with ITINs
SAN FRANCISCO, February 10, 2021—Low- to moderate-income residents of the Bay Area can get free, secure and high-quality tax help through United Way Bay Area’s Earn It! Keep It! Save It!(EKS) program. IRS-certified, volunteer tax preparers are ready now to assist anyone who needs help—including undocumented ITIN filers—and will ensure residents receive the best possible refunds. For example, taxpayers who made less than $30,000 in 2020 may be eligible for up to $6,000 in state and federal tax credits, depending on income and family size. EKS has partnered with Code for America to offer safe, online filing and some in-person assistance is available. Find details at www.uwba.org/tax-help.
“Thanks to new legislation, the California Earned Income Tax Credit (Cal EITC) and Young Child Tax Credit will be available to all eligible, working Californians in 2021. That includes younger workers, those over 65, and undocumented taxpayers filing with an ITIN, but people must complete their taxes correctly to get the refunds,” said Kelly Batson, Chief Community Impact Officer at United Way Bay Area. “EKS services start with a quick online interview, then residents upload their tax documents and our team does the rest. People who are unable to use online services can get help in person at select EKS locations.”
EKS volunteers help Bay Area taxpayers earning less than $57,000 per year receive the best possible refunds by ensuring they claim all deductions and tax credits available. For example, recent changes to California tax laws removed the requirement for ITIN tax filers to have at least one child under the age of six to qualify for the Cal EITC. Starting in 2021, undocumented residents with ITINs can also access the Cal EITC to claim up to $3,027. The $1,000 Young Child Tax Credit also is available for all qualifying families with children 5 and under.
Perhaps most importantly, EKS volunteers ensure that Bay Area taxpayers who qualify have access the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). One of the most powerful poverty-fighting safety net programs in the country, the Federal EITC can provide eligible families with three or more qualifying children up to a $6,660 credit.
Each year, EKS clients collectively save at least $20 million in tax preparation fees and their returns filed by EKS volunteers bring more than $80 million in federal tax refunds back to the local Bay Area community. Since 2003, volunteers have facilitated almost a billion dollars in refunds to Bay Area households.
About United Way Bay Area
United Way Bay Area (UWBA) fights for financial stability and equal opportunity for residents in eight Bay Area counties. UWBA takes an innovative, holistic approach to ending the cycle of poverty through advocacy and programs that support all ages—providing free access to family support, financial and career coaching, job opportunities and basic needs. www.uwba.org