United Way of Broward County Helps Financially Unstable Families Prepare for Tax Season

Natalie Horowitz
February 24, 2011

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – (February 1, 2011) – United Way of Broward County lends a hand to financially unstable families by providing free tax preparation services aboard its Mobile Resource Center. The branded RV, along with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) workers, will be touring Broward County February 5 through April 15 in order to reach residents who do not have the ability or means to access accountants nor financial advisors. In addition, Hispanic Unity of Florida will be operating the mobile VITA unit throughout tax season.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) programs provide federal tax benefits for low and moderate-income workers. The EITC benefit can be worth up to $5,666 for families who worked in 2010. Workers raising children who earned less than about $48,000 in 2010 may be eligible for the EITC. In order to claim the credits, eligible workers must file a tax return.

“It’s so important for families in Broward County to know tax credits are available, how they can qualify, and file. These tax credits are significant amounts that can help families purchase a car or even make a down payment on an apartment,” said Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D., President and CEO of United Way of Broward County.

Preparing a tax return can be complicated, and tax filers often seek help from commercial tax preparers who charge high fees that ultimately reduce the value of any refund the worker is eligible to receive. According to national estimates, 20 to 25 percent of eligible workers do not claim their EIC benefits, equaling millions of dollars that are not being distributed to working families who earn tax credits.

The Prosperity Initiative opportunity was presented through the Center for Working Families, a collaborative effort between United Way of Broward County, Hispanic Unity of Florida, Urban League of Broward County, and the Children’s Services Council. The Mobile Resource Center RV was generously donated by United Way donors, Jim Stork and Ron Ansin.

Attached please find the February Mobile Resource Center Schedule. Continued schedule updates will be posted on United Way of Broward County’s website,
www.unitedwaybroward.org. Please visit www.irs.gov to view a complete list of EITC income limits, maximum credit amounts, and tax law updates. For more information, call 2-1-1 to find a VITA preparation site near you.

About United Way of Broward County

United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, non-profit organization with a mission to focus and unite the entire community to create significant lasting change that positively impacts people’s lives. UWBC 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 the Mobile Resource Center

The Mobile Resource Center is part of the Center for Working Families, a collaborative effort among United Way of Broward County, Hispanic Unity of Florida, Urban League of Broward County, and the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. The Center for Working Families will assist members of the community who need individualized emergency and economic development services so that they can achieve and maintain economic stability. United Way’s vision is to impact at least 50% of Broward County families who are financially unstable and decrease the number of families in the community who are financially unstable by the year 2018.

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