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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program Returns to Broward County

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Feb. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

Who: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
What: Tax Preparation and Earned Income Tax Credits for working families
Where: Broward County
When: January 17 – April 18, 2017

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, will begin again in Broward County on January 17, 2017. Individuals without children and working families who earned $54,000 or less in 2016, could save up to $150 with free tax preparation services and includes eligibility determinations for inclusion in federal tax credit programs.

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) applies to low-to-moderate-income working people. This program reduces the amount of taxes owed and refunds the difference if the credit is larger than the amount owed. The Child Tax Credit (ACTC) is a refundable tax credit available to those who get less than the full amount of the child tax credit. The additional child tax credit may give you a refund even if you do not owe any taxes. The credit changes from year to year and is based on earnings, number of qualifying children and marital status.

These services will be provided at 18 permanent tax sites at local nonprofits and at more than 20 mobile tax sites at partner locations throughout Broward County. Working families and individuals can call 211 or 954-537-0211 or log onto www.VITATaxesFree.org to find the nearest VITA tax site.

Once a taxpayer has located a VITA tax site they will work with a trained IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer who will determine the individual’s eligibility for special tax credits such as EITC, Child Tax Credit, Credit for the Elderly and education credits to maximize tax payer returns. 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.

In a written statement issued by the IRS, filers who qualify for EITC and/or ACTC, are advised that this year their tax refund will be delayed this year until February 15 without exceptions. The memo advises tax payers to file their taxes as they normally would and to beware of loan offers against delayed refunds.

The EITC is a tax credit for working people. To be eligible, total income in 2016 must not exceed:

  • $47,955 ($53,505 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $44,648 ($50,198 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $39,296 ($44,846 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $14,880 ($20,430 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

The ACTC is a refundable tax credit available to those who get less than the full amount of the child tax credit. The additional child tax credit may give you a refund even if you do not owe any tax.

“The Children’s Services Council of Broward County has been a major supporter of the VITA campaign for over a decade because we understand that reimbursements going directly into the pockets of Broward County families that need them most makes an enormous difference in the lives of children,” said CSC President/CEO Cindy Arenberg Seltzer.

“During the 2016 tax season, $6.3 million in taxes were refunded to Broward County working families and individuals and more than 5,800 people were served across 15 site locations,” said Josie Bacallao, President/CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida, the largest provider of these services in Broward County.

The Broward community-wide initiative is made possible by the Children’s Services Council of Broward County (CSC), an independent taxing authority established to enhance the lives of Broward County’s children, the IRS, Hispanic Unity of Florida, United Way of Broward County, and Citi.

Other key partners and funders include: 211 Broward, Bank of America, Broward College, Broward County’s Family Success Administration, Broward County Libraries, Community Access Center, DeVry University, HandsOn Broward, SunTrust Bank, and Third Federal Savings & Loan.

About the Children’s Services Council:

The Children’s Services Council of Broward County is an independent taxing authority which was established by a public referendum on September 5, 2000 and was reauthorized by voters on November 4, 2014, which, through Public Act, Chapter 2000-461 of the laws of Florida, authorized the Council to levy up to 0.5 mills of property taxes. The role of the Council is to provide the leadership, advocacy and resources necessary to enhance children’s lives and empower them to become responsible, productive adults through collaborative planning and funding of a continuum of quality care.

For more information about the Children’s Services Council of Broward County, please visit www.cscbroward.org. Follow us on Twitter at @CSCBroward and on Facebook.

About United Way of Broward County:

United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, non-profit organization servicing Broward County for more than 75 years. United Way of Broward County’s mission is to focus and unite the entire community to create significant lasting change in the impact areas of Education, Income and Health, the building blocks for a better life, which positively impacts people’s lives. United Way of Broward County is the catalyst for change and convener of partnerships that unite the hearts, minds, and resources within the Broward community. For more information, visit www.UnitedWayBroward.org.

About Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF):

Hispanic Unity is a non-profit founded 35 years ago by community leaders to ease the acculturation transition for newcomers from other nations. Today, Hispanic Unity provides assistance through 12 programs and 30+ services in four languages to Broward’s diverse community. Hispanic Unity remains the county’s largest agency dedicated to the immigrant population, providing them with the tools they need to build a new life. In 2016, the agency served more than 15,000 children and families. The agency offers assistance at eight Broward County sites, in addition to 18 FREE tax preparation sites and 9 Citizenship Preparation sites. For more information, visit www.hispanicunity.org.

Learn more at: www.VitaTaxesFree.org.

Media Contact: Arminda Resto
Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications
(954) 376-4800 (Main)
Aresto@latin2latin.com

SOURCE Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF)

Related Links

http://www.hispanicunity.org