United Way of Broward County’s Mobile Resource Center and Hispanic Unity’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) workers provided nearly 400 Broward County working families free tax assistance, filing Earned Income Tax Credits totaling $444,320. The Mobile Resource Center, a 34’ branded RV generously donated by United Way donors, Jim Stork and Ron Ansin, toured local businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and churches in Broward County from February 5 through April 15 to offer services to qualifying working families.
“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. “To most of these working families, every penny counts and these credits can make a tremendous difference in their lives.”
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. United Way of Broward County’s Mobile Resource Center helped bring these services to residents who do not have the ability or means to access accountants and financial advisors.
According to national estimates, 20 to 25 percent of eligible workers do not claim their EITC benefits, equaling millions of dollars that are not being distributed to working families who earn tax credits. Here in Broward County, almost a half million dollars will now be distributed to residents who need it most, through the Mobile Resource Center alone. Sixteen other VITA sites located around Broward County also helped families file their taxes and earn credits.
The Mobile Resource Center is an integral 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 other community partners. The Center for Working Families will assist members of the community who need individualized assistance so they can achieve and maintain economic stability. United Way’s vision is to impact at least half 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.
United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, non-profit organization servicing Broward County for more than 70 years. United Way of Broward County 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.