• June 24th, 2024
  • Monday, 06:08:55 AM

Tax Assistance Program Returns to Broward County

Photo: CIP Americas September 26th marked three years since the search began for the 43 students disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will provide free income tax services through April 15. Individuals and families who earned $55,000 or less in 2018 can save up to $200 in tax preparation fees; the program includes eligibility determinations for inclusion in federal tax credit programs. Program participants will continue to receive financial guidance on the best way to use their refund.

These services will be provided at 16 permanent tax sites located across Broward County in local nonprofits, public libraries, municipalities plus more than 25 mobile tax sites where a team of preparers travels to assist and ensure accessibility to the community. To find the nearest VITA site in Broward County, call 211 or 954-537-0211 or visit VITATaxesFree.org.

Certain families and individuals may qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or the Child Tax Credit (CTC). These tax credits change from year to year and are based on earnings, number of qualifying children and marital status.

The maximum amount of EITC credits for 2018 is as follows:

-$6,431 with three or more qualifying children

-$5,716 with two qualifying children

-$3,461 with one qualifying child

-$519 with no qualifying children

This free tax service is available for persons with disabilities, veterans and the elderly. Services are available in English, Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Portuguese and American Sign-Language.

“VITA and the Earned Income Tax Campaign have been enormously helpful to millions of working families struggling to make ends meet,” said Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, President/CEO of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. “That is why we have been a major supporter of this campaign in Broward for fifteen years. Reimbursements going directly into the pockets of Broward County families that need them most makes an enormous difference in the lives of children,” she said.

“Here at United Way of Broward County we fight for the financial stability of every person in our community, VITA is a crucial element of this pillar. It is imperative that our residents know and are educated on how to file for taxes, how they can qualify and what credits are available to them. This is life-changing for someone who is living paycheck to paycheck,” said Kathleen Cannon, President and CEO of United Way of Broward County.

“During the 2018 tax season, $6.3 million in taxes were refunded to Broward County working families and individuals and more than 6,011 people were served across 16 site locations,” said Josie Bacallao, President/CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida, the largest provider of these services in Broward County.

This Broward community-wide initiative is made possible by the Children’s Services Council of Broward County (CSC), the IRS, Hispanic Unity of Florida, United Way of Broward County, and Citi Community Development. Other key partners and funders include: 211 Broward, Bank of America, Broward College, Broward County, Broward County Libraries, Community Access Center, HandsOn Broward, SunTrust Bank, and Third Federal Savings & Loan.