EITC results

The Volunteer Center and United Way of Allen County announced this morning results of the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, money that was returned to Allen County residents this year.

EITC Efforts Bring More than $1.7 Million Back to Allen County

More than $1.7 million was returned to Allen County residents this year as part of the Earned Income Tax Credit program; this represents a twenty-one percent increase over last year’s amount. The program also saved customers more than $150,000 in tax preparation and e-filing fees.

The program is coordinated by the Financial Stability Partnership, which is led by the Volunteer Center @ RSVP and United Way of Allen County. Residents earning less than $42,000 annually may qualify for the EITC and can be eligible to receive more than $4,500 back in tax credits. As much as $6 million in tax credits go unclaimed in Allen County each year.

Last year, the Financial Stability Partnership helped 1,074 low-income residents file their returns and bring $1.4 million back to the community. This year, 1,344 returns were filed by 41 trained volunteer tax preparers working at Community Action of NE Indiana, St. Mary’s Church and the Euell A. Wilson Center. Fourteen additional volunteers also helped with the effort.

“It’s heartwarming to hear the volunteers talk about their efforts to assist local residents with their tax forms,” said Jean Joley, director of the Volunteer Center @RSVP. “Many residents have no idea that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and some cry with joy when they learn they will get a sizeable return that can help them do everything from pay their rent to buy necessary medications.”

“This EITC program is a great example of what United Way is all about – bringing local organizations together to help people in need improve their lives,” said Jerry Peterson, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County. “I’m thrilled we had even more success with this effort than last year. I know the EITC program helped ease the financial struggles of many this year and free up additional dollars to help them meet their basic needs.”

This year people were surveyed when they sought the free tax help and among the findings:

  • Eighty-five percent earned less than $25,000 a year.
  • Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed a high school diploma or less.
  • Fifty-seven percent had no health insurance for themselves or their families.
  • Sixty-four percent planned to use their refund to pay bills.

Many local organizations assisted with the EITC effort. The City of Fort Wayne provides Community Development Block Grant dollars and funding also comes from the Indiana Association of United Ways. Members of the Financial Stability Partnership include: Volunteer Center @ RSVP, United Way of Allen County, Community Action of NE Indiana, St. Mary’s Church, Euell A. Wilson Center, Hispanic Leadership Coalition, National City Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Internal Revenue Service, American Red Cross – Multicultural Exchange (MIX), Fire Police City County Federal Credit Union, First Source Bank, Consumer Credit Counseling, U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar’s Northeast Indiana Community Service Center, and the City of Fort Wayne.

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