Trident United Way and Trident Urban League received a $45,000 grant from the IRS to expand free tax preparation services for working Lowcountry families earning less than $49,000 in 2009. The service also helps families claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which can total as much as $5,700.
The service begins throughout the three-county region in January and runs through April. Information and a list of sites can be found by dialing 2-1-1 or by visiting http://www.tuw.org/taxprep.asp.
The EITC is the largest anti-poverty program in the country, but Lowcountry families leave $17 million unclaimed. In addition, many filers pay unscrupulous tax preparation companies for expensive services, like refund anticipation loans, that they don’t need.
Families that earn as much as $49,000 may qualify for the EITC. Credits range up to $5,700 per family. That money is then recycled into our local economy. The average tri-county family receiving an EITC last year received roughly $2,000.
The free tax preparation and EITC outreach is a partnership of Trident Urban League and Trident United Way and the IRS. Over the past five years, this partnership has brought roughly $6.5 million into the tri-county.