Households with an annual income of $54,000 or less can have their tax returns prepared for free through the Bay Area United Way’s Earn It, Keep It, Save It program.
Earned Income Tax Credit
The Earn It, Keep It, Save It campaign is particularly focused on enabling qualifying individuals and families to access this tax credit that stands to put real money in the pockets of working families.
Too many families miss claiming the EITC. Something like 20% of the families that are eligible fail to take advantage of this support for low and moderate income folks.
Even if you owe no taxes, you can claim the tax credit and receive a check.
Generally, the lower your income and the more children you have, the larger the payment you’re entitled to.
Low income families need tax help
Too many Californians – far too many here in the Bay Area – work hard yet find themselves unable to meet their most basic needs. Furthermore, tax season can be stressful time for many people, as they round up tax documents and receipts, and make sense of confusing tax forms. Those of us who can afford it may pay for tax software that walks us through the process, or we may pay a tax preparer to file on our behalf. But the cost for paid preparers can be costly, and tax software varies widely in price. For low-income families who may not be able to afford these services, tax time can be a significant source of stress, and securing a full refund is not assured. Additionally, many of these families face additional challenges in doing their own taxes –English may not be their primary language or they may have limited computer skills. This is why EKS is so important in our community.
California puts money in pockets, too
California has a state version of the Earned Income Tax Credit. The California rules are set out in this fact sheet from the Franchise Tax Board.