Orange County United Way is honored to lead the OC Free Tax Prep Coalition, an important element in our FACE 2024 community-wide action plan to address the Education, Income, Health and Housing needs of local residents. As part of the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, this local Coalition convened more than 400 volunteer IRS-certified tax experts at over 60 Orange County locations to advise eligible individuals and families about Earned Income Tax Credits.
Free access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and other valuable tax credits is one important component of our Income goal to increase the percentage of financially stable families by 25% between now and 2024. For taxpayers making under $60,000 year, getting access to Free Tax Prep services can often provide a much-needed hand up. In fact, the average adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of taxpayers served this year was $22,309—a challenging income for individuals to find stable financial footing with in our community.
That’s why United Way works to connect more low-income residents and families to resources that will increase their self-sufficiency. This year, 16,901 Orange County residents participated in the Free Tax Prep Campaign, bringing in more than $14 million in federal and state refunds—with over $4.1 million in EITC alone. These funds provide a critical boost to help more families and individuals pay for rent, food and medical costs.
To learn more about the EITC, VITA and other ways United Way is ensuring that residents have access to a full range of financial empowerment services, we invite you to visit www.unitedwayoc.org/income.