Mayor Garcetti Urges Angelenos To Tap Free Help On Taxes, Financial Aid And Other Financial Assistance

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Garcetti and community partners gathered at Santee High School today to urge Angelenos to take advantage of free help on taxes, financial aid and other financial assistance.

“In these tough economic times I want to make sure the city is providing hard working Angelenos with every resource it can,” said Mayor Garcetti. “These resources can help thousands of hard-working residents pay off debt, save for a home, buy a car, or pay for college.”

More than 135 sites throughout Los Angeles opened their doors today to help Angelenos collect the Earned Income Tax Credit, file tax returns for free, apply for student financial aid, provide information and resources to help undocumented students apply for Deferred Action, and connect unbanked individuals to low-cost checking and savings accounts. Last year, nearly 9,000 students participated in the workshops and received over $45 million in grant aid.

In addition, between now and April 15, each of the city's 18 FamilySource Centers are designated Volunteer Income Tax Assistance—or VITA—sites. This year, there will be a total of over 180 VITA sites throughout Los Angeles County. More information is available at

Supported by the Internal Revenue Service, VITA sites provide families with free tax assistance to people who make $53,000 or less and help them apply for tax credits. These sites also offer asset-building programs that include financial education and resources to help families open low-cost bank accounts.

For 2015 (the 2014 tax year), the Earned Income Tax Credit can offer refunds up to $6,242 for low and moderate-income families with three or more children - a figure equal to nearly two months of income for many hardworking but in-need households.

The city will also have resources available for “Dreamers” who can learn about scholarships that do not require legal permanent residency and information on how to apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA).