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Our mission is to help low-moderate income working families realize economic self-sufficiency through financial education, free income tax assistance, and asset building opportunities.
Since 2006, we have been dedicated to helping lower income taxpayers in our region save money by filing their taxes for free, and providing the educational tools to help people build their assets. The program operates on some basic principals:
- Assets=Greater Financial Stability: Assets are the foundation for long-term financial stability and succes. Essentially, they are things that give households a buffer from financial crises. Possessing assets such as, a house, a small business, or a college education, helps families live more securely today, build for the future, and pass assets on to their children. Teaching more people how to obtain and build such assets is an initiative that the entire community can benefit from.
- The local economy benefits from the free income tax program: Research has shown that lower income individuals are most likely going to spend their money in the communities where they live. Income tax refunds represent the largest annual lump sum that most people receive. Due to the increasing popularity of Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs), people can spend over $300 just to file their taxes! Our goal is to allow people to put those funds back in their pockets, which generates more spending within the community, and stimulates the local economy. The great thing is, the more people we can help, the more positive impact it has on our community.
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)can make a difference: The EITC is the largest program to help working families in America. This year, this credit alone can add over $5600 to your income tax refund. Surprisingly though, the IRS estimates that up to 25% of Americans who qualify, don't even claim it! Last year we helped nearly 600 people claim the credit, and our volunteers and staff memebers actively promote the EITC at our VITA Sites throughout the year. January 28, 2011 is National Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day.
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