Campaign for Working Families, United Way, City of Philadelphia and Urban Affairs Coalition Provide Free Tax Assistance to Community

Date: 
January 25, 2013

Philadelphia, PA, January 25, 2013 –The Campaign for Working Families, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), the City of Philadelphia and the Urban Affairs Coalition have officially kicked off the tax season with a message of education and awareness for low-income workers throughout the city and region. Mary Horstmann, deputy director, Office of Policy & Planning, City of Philadelphia, delivered Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s proclamation announcing January 25, 2013 as “Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Day” in Philadelphia, a nationwide effort to increase public awareness about the EITC and free tax preparation sites. "Every year, thousands of Philadelphia workers miss out on federal income tax refund dollars they deserve through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)," said Mayor Nutter. "The Campaign for Working Families raises awareness about EITC and helps Philadelphians get the maximum refund possible. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity."

The EITC has been called one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty programs, lifting an estimated 6.6 million people out of poverty, including 3.3 million children, since its creation in 1975. But the IRS estimates that one of every five eligible individuals are unaware that they qualify to receive the EITC. As a result, they could miss out on thousands of dollars - as much as $5,891 depending on a household’s individual circumstances - in their federal income tax refunds.

“When it comes to family budgets, every little bit helps. United Way is committed to ensuring that families have access to the resources they need to achieve and sustain financial stability,” said Ann O’Brien Schmieg, senior vice president, Community Impact, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “Through the collective efforts of our partners, more families are able to access tax credits that would have been left on the table, providing a much-needed boost to their household incomes.” In the City of Philadelphia,

The Campaign for Working Families offers free tax preparation, e-filing, direct deposit, U.S. Savings Bonds, pre-paid debit cards, FAFSA completion, credit reports and screening for public benefits. The Campaign operates 11 community-based tax sites in Philadelphia that will open January 25, 2013.

“This tax season we’re excited to again work with The Campaign for Working Families and the City of Philadelphia to offer two new services for free tax filing,” says Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO, Urban Affairs Coalition. “Taxpayers can now drop their tax information at the Philly 311 Center located at City Hall and pick up their returns on the next scheduled day. They can also file their own taxes for free at one of the 80 KEYSPOTS throughout the city, where computers and high-speed internet access is available using MyFreeTaxes.com/phillykeyspots.” The Urban Affairs Coalition has provided financial management services to the Campaign since 2003. Free tax preparation services are available to families earning $51,000 or less, and to individuals earning $20,000 or less. The locations and hours of service of the Campaign's free tax sites are available on the website www.CWFPhilly.org or by calling 3-1-1.

Taxes are prepared by IRS-certified volunteers. To find a KEYSPOT location, visit phillykeyspots.org or file your taxes from your computer at MyFreeTaxes.com/philly. UWGPSNJ and partners also offer free tax preparation services for qualifying individuals throughout the region. Taxpayers can visit UnitedForImpact.org/VITA for locations in their community. They can also file their taxes for free online, thanks to the generous support of the Wal-Mart Foundation, at MyFreeTaxes.com/phillysjunited. “In the past three years I paid for my taxes to be done, at a commercial tax preparer in Center City. Last year I paid $300 for a simple return. I could have spent that $300 for transportation, groceries and childcare,” says one of Campaign’s 2013 tax filers Janean Williams. “Last year it took the preparer about 30 minutes to process our taxes. I did not realize it was so much to have someone else prepare my taxes. Now I know better.”

Philadelphia Tax Sites

Urban Affairs Coalition: 1207 Chestnut St., 4th floor

Philly 311: City Hall, Room 167 PA

CareerLink Northwest: 235 W. Chelten Ave.

People for People: 702 North Broad St.

Northeast Tax Site: 7315 Castor Ave

Impact Services: 1952 E. Allegheny Ave.

Diversified Community Services: 1529 S. 22nd St.

United Communities: 2029 S. 8th

St. Ebenezer Temple Pentecostal Church: 5649 Christian St.

Mt. Pisgah AME Church: 429 N. 41st St.

Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships: 3509 Spring Garden St.

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About The Campaign for Working Families

The Campaign for Working Families, a program partner of the Urban Affairs Coalition, boosts the number of people who receive FREE tax filing assistance and do not have to pay sky-high fees to commercial tax preparers. Over the past 10 years, The Campaign for Working Families has brought $191 million directly into the homes of low-income working families.  And saved these families an additional estimated $24.6 million in interest, fees, and charges for tax preparation and check cashing, and loans. For more information about The Campaign for Working Families visit: www.CWFPhilly.org .

About United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, serving communities in Pennsylvania’s Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and New Jersey’s Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland counties, is part of a national network of more than 1,300 locally governed organizations that work to create lasting positive changes in communities and in people’s lives. United Way engages the community to identify the underlying causes of the most significant local issues, develops strategies and pulls together financial and human resources to address them, and measures the results. United Way is advancing the common good in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey by positively impacting the lives of people throughout the region in the areas of education, income, and health. For more information about United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey visit www.UnitedForImpact.org.