Campaign will provide families with free tax preparation services and help them claim State and Federal tax credits up to $9,000.
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched a campaign to provide low-to-moderate income households with free tax preparation services, and help taxpayers claim State and Federal tax credits.
Mayor Garcetti joined Jerome Horton of the California State Board of Equalization and Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin to launch Free Tax Prep Los Angeles. All 16 of the City’s FamilySource Centers (FSC) will be open throughout the tax season to assist families with claiming their refunds.
“Filing taxes can be complicated — and without professional assistance, too many eligible residents aren’t aware of tax credits that can put thousands of dollars back in their pockets,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Angelenos work hard, and should claim the refunds they’re due. That money can help working parents get quality childcare, reduce debt and invest in themselves and their children in so many meaningful ways.”
Households with annual incomes of $54,000 or less may qualify for approximately $9,000 in cash back through the State and Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
The Free Tax Prep Los Angeles campaign is a public-private collaboration that includes the City of Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA), the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), Citi Community Development, the Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC), the Youth Policy Institute, and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
The campaign is funded by a $250,000 Citi Innovation grant to HCIDLA. In addition, both the Koreatown Youth and Community Center and the Youth Policy Institute secured a $300,000 grant each from the California Department of Community Services and Development. Together, these funds will expand the integration of free tax prep education into services provided at FamilySource Centers. Services include giving people access to information on how to claim the EITC, helping families access safe and affordable banking products, and connecting them to financial education and counseling services.
“Los Angeles is home to 60 percent of California’s eligible EITC filers, yet families in Los Angeles leave over $566 million in unclaimed tax credits on the table each year,” said James Alva, Southern California Market Manager, Citi Community Development. “Free Tax Prep Los Angeles will expand access to tax credits and financial coaching that empower more working families with the tools they need to build a resilient financial future.”
Free Tax Prep Los Angeles has identified 23 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the City and County in communities with the most need of tax filing support, offering free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing available to qualified individuals.
As part of the campaign launch, the City and County will host a “Claim Your Refund Day” on Saturday, Feb. 4 at participating VITA sites. IRS-certified volunteers will provide free basic income tax return preparation. For more information about this campaign, please visit www.FreeTaxPrepLA.com
About FamilySource Centers
FamilySource Centers are designed to assist low-income families become self-sufficient by increasing family income and increasing the educational attainment for youth and adults. All 16 centers are located in the most economically distressed areas of the City.