Local households that earned $54,000 or less in 2015 can receive free tax help in person through the Sacramento Coalition for Working Families, the local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance effort led by United Way. The program will kick off with a Super Saturday event from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Jan. 30 at Grant Union High School, where IRS-certified volunteers will provide free basic tax return preparation with electronic filing. Volunteers will inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify, such as the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. For more information, a list of other Super Saturday events and weekday tax help sites in Sacramento County, visit yourlocalunitedway.org/VITA, or call (916) 498-1000 or 2-1-1.
VITA is a national IRS program and offers free help to people who make a limited income and need help preparing their tax returns.
Local households that made $62,000 or less in 2015 can qualify to file their state and federal taxes online for free at MyFreeTaxes.com, thanks to a a national partnership between United Way, Goodwill Industries and the National Disability Institute. MyFreeTaxes.com helps people save an average of $200 in tax preparer fees. The website guides users through federal and state filing using software powered by H&R Block. Users need a valid email address and income forms. The eight-year-old program is available in all 50 states.
“We want to make sure as many households as possible in the Sacramento area are financially stable, and that starts with not spending unnecessary money on tax preparation and making sure they receive the maximum refund to which they are entitled,” said Stephanie Bray, United Way California Capital Region president and CEO.
Both the in-person and online filing opportunities are designed to help households receive the maximum Earned Income Tax Credits of $6,000, now available federally and through the state. This is the first year that California is offering a state Earned Income Tax Credit to benefit California’s working families, increase use of the federal credit and increase availability of free tax preparation services.
United Way California Capital Region is leading the Sacramento Coalition for Working Families as part of its work to ensure more households in the capital region are financially stable and self-sufficient. Partners include California State Board of Equalization, City of Sacramento, Community Housing Opportunities Corporation, Folsom Cordova Community Partnership, Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley & Northern Nevada, Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, SEIU Local 1000, SAFE Credit Union, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Grant Union High School, Hiram Johnson High School and the State of California Franchise Tax Board. Sponsors include Citi Community Development, First Northern Bank, Internal Revenue Service, SMUD, United Way California Capital Region and Wells Fargo.
For more than 90 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought people together to meet pressing needs in the Sacramento region and has changed the lives of hundreds of children, families and adults. Now United Way is mobilizing nonprofits, companies, schools, government and individuals across the region, state and country to make a collective impact in the areas of education, financial stability and health in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. To donate or volunteer, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.