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Orange County United Way’s eBus Pulls Over for Free Tax Prep

Orange County United Way, in collaboration with Citi Community Development, brought the eBus, a mobile tax service bus, to Orange County to help more families keep their hard-earned money.

As part of Orange County United Way’s OC Free Tax Prep program, the one-of-a-kind eBus serves as a mobile hub for free tax preparation assistance.

Staffed with IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) preparers, eligible low- to moderate-income taxpayers receive quality tax preparation and help in filing all necessary documents correctly, securely and with ease.

Mobile tax service in Orange County from United Way's OC Free Tax Prep

Qualified VITA volunteers provide tax prep assistance to O.C. residents aboard the eBus.

 

Earlier this month, the bus made three stops in Orange County in partnership with Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (District 74), Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (District 65) and Assemblyman Tyler Diep (District 72).

Nearly 50 O.C. residents made appointments and hopped on the eBus for help this tax season, hoping to keep more of their earnings for the things that matter most – like housing, food and medical expenses.

Mobile tax service in Orange County from United Way's OC Free Tax Prep

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris hops on the eBus during its stop at the Costa Mesa Senior Center.

 

The eBus made its first stop at the Costa Mesa Senior Center with Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris. Tax preparers met with local residents, helped them easily file their taxes and spoke to other community members about OC Free Tax Prep.

Mobile tax service in Orange County from United Way's OC Free Tax Prep

Maria Mugica, Project Manager at Orange County United Way, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, Laura Peralta, Vice President at Citi Community Development, and Michelle Murphy, Associate Director of Advocacy and Health at Orange County United Way pose while supporting OC Free Tax Prep and CalEITC education for Buena Park residents.

 

Then the bus traveled to Buena Park with Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva.

Joe Nunez was one of the local residents who made an appointment that day. “My son brought me after he found out about this event on Facebook. I used to pay $300 for filing. This is a great service.”

“My son brought me after he found out about this event on Facebook. I used to pay $300 for filing. This is a great service.” — Joe Nunez from Buena Park

Mobile tax service in Orange County from United Way's OC Free Tax Prep

Assemblyman Tyler Diep addresses the crowd during the eBus stop in Westminster.

The final stop for the eBus was in Westminster with Assemblyman Tyler Diep. Onsite, all the appointment slots were taken.

“I’m happy to know about it,” said Rene Contreras, one of the residents who accessed the eBus services that day. “Last year I paid $180 to file. This free tax prep service is very helpful.”

“I’m happy to know about it. Last year I paid $180 to file. This free tax prep service is very helpful.” — Rene Contreras from Westminster

The eBus is a unique component of the OC Free Tax Prep program and United Way’s larger Income Initiative to increase the financially stable families in Orange County.

OC Free Tax Prep services continue through the end of tax season on April 15th. Households that earned less than $60,000 in 2018 are eligible for the free tax filing services. There are currently two ways of filing – online at MyFreeTaxes.com or with support at an IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site throughout Orange County.

Conclusion

Orange County United Way is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty here in Orange County. Through OC Free Tax Prep, United Way and its partners are working toward a better tomorrow and a brighter future for all of Orange County.

Get your taxes filed for free this year!

Visit ocfreetaxprep.com to see if you qualify

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