Up to $9,500 in cash back refunds are available for low-income families, along with help enrolling in federal support programs
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched Free Tax Prep L.A. 2020, an initiative to provide working families with free tax preparation services and help them claim state and federal tax credits.
“Hundreds of thousands of low-income local families are leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table with unclaimed tax credits,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Free Tax Prep L.A. is meant to turn April 15th from a source of dread for working Angelenos into a prime opportunity for all of us to fulfill our civic duty and access the refunds and resources that can help make child care, housing, health care, and groceries more affordable.”
Housed at each of the City’s 16 FamilySource Centers and other Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the county, Free Tax Prep LA connects experts and IRS-certified volunteers to individuals and households making under $55,000 a year, to help them file for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the CalEITC. All together, families may be eligible to receive up to $9,500 cash back this year — but only if they claim these vital tax benefits.
Beyond free tax prep services, this year’s campaign features the Building a Stronger L.A. initiative, which encourages working people to leverage all the resources available to help them succeed. As part of this effort, the City and its partners will connect Angelenos to proven anti-poverty tools and programs, like CalFresh and the new Young Child Tax Credit.
“The Free Tax Prep program not only has the potential to increase family income but it will also have a positive impact for those trying to make ends meet,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the 13th District on the Los Angeles City Council. “I want to thank the Housing + Community Investment Department and our local non-profit partners who are assisting Angelenos during tax season by providing this free tax preparation service.”
“This is my first time filing for taxes, and I’m very happy to be receiving a refund of over $10,000,” said Rebecca Acosta, a single mother of three and first-time EITC tax filer. “I’m already thinking about how to invest in programs like parenting classes and a robotics program for my teenage sons. I did not know about tax credits and how they can help me so I’m very grateful I got the support that I did. I’m telling everyone about Free Tax Prep LA.”
For a list of VITA sites offering free tax prep and CalFresh enrollment visit: https://freetaxprepla.unitedwayla.org/en/find-help/.
About Free Tax Prep L.A.
Free Tax Prep Los Angeles is a collaborative effort between the City of Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department, the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, Citi Community Development, Koreatown Youth + Community Center, CalEITC4Me, Golden State Opportunity, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and CSU5.
For more information about this campaign, please visit www.FreeTaxPrepLA.com.