With up to $9,300 in refunds available for low-income families, City of Los Angeles expands outreach and cost-free services to school campuses
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched the 2019 campaign to provide low-to-moderate income households with free tax preparation services, and help more taxpayers claim State and Federal tax credits.
Free Tax Prep LA connects experts and volunteers offering cost-free assistance to individuals and households making less than $54,884 a year, to help them qualify for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Families may be able to receive up to $9,310 cash back in combined state and federal tax credits if they file before April 15.
“Everyone in Los Angeles should be able to access the tax credits they’re entitled to — and no one should be shut out because they can’t afford expensive tax preparation services,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Our free services will help Angelenos better understand how to get dollars they need and can invest in meaningful ways — like childcare, home improvements, and transportation.”
This year, Mayor Garcetti and other local leaders secured nearly $2.7 million in State funding for free tax prep services.
To help as many households as possible obtain EITC refunds, free tax preparation services will be offered at pop-up events hosted on more than 25 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school campuses. To learn more about Free Tax Prep Pop-ups at LAUSD schools, visit www.lamayor.org/freetaxprep.
“I serve one of the most underserved communities in Los Angeles County. A good portion of communities have median personal incomes below $28,000. Too many families throughout the County lack economic security, which is why I am encouraging County residents to use the IRS VITA Program,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “VITA will help LA County residents safely and quickly receive tax refunds, and it will help them save hundreds of dollars in tax preparation fees. This tax season, we want LA County residents to make sure they find out if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the most effective policy tools in America to lift families out of poverty.”
“We are so grateful for the partnership with the City of Los Angeles and the Mayor’s office to provide these services to our families,” said L.A Unified Board President Mónica García. “Thank you to all of the campaign partners who secured the funding to make this all possible for a third year. We look forward to our continued collaboration in connecting our families to the best resources in Los Angeles.”
All 16 of the City’s FamilySource Centers will be open throughout the tax season to assist families with preparing their taxes and claiming refunds. These services are also available to immigrant families filing their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Last year, more than 100,000 L.A. County residents were served through the campaign.
To ensure that students take advantage of the State EITC — which is available for the first time to people who are 18 years of age — the City has partnered with the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) to provide eligible students with free tax prep services at select FamilySource Centers.
About FamilySource Centers
Managed by the City’s Housing + Community Investment Department, 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. There are 16 centers located in the most economically distressed areas of the City.
During the past seven years, the City’s FamilySource Centers have completed more than 36,000 tax returns. Since the campaign launched two years ago alone, FamilySource Centers have done nearly 16,000 returns worth over $30 million in tax credits and over $3 million in filing fees saved by working L.A. families.
For more information about financial services available at FamilySource Centers, please visit www.hcidla.lacity.org/free-tax-prep.
About Free Tax Prep LA
The Free Tax Prep Los Angeles campaign is a public-private collaboration led by the City of Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA), in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), Citi Community Development, Youth Policy Institute (YPI), Koreatown Youth + Community Center (KYCC), United Way of Greater Los Angeles, local Cal State Universities (CSU5), CalEITC4Me, and AARP Foundation.
Free Tax Prep Los Angeles has identified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the City and County in communities most in need of tax filing support, offering free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing available to qualified individuals.
For more information about this campaign, please visit www.FreeTaxPrepLA.com.