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Calling All College Students! Free Tax Preparation Service Available

Calling All College Students! Free Tax Preparation Service Available

Orange County United Way encourages local students to consider filing their taxes for free through MyFreeTaxes.com

Irvine, CA — College students focused on exams, spring break and paying tuition don’t want to think about more deadlines. But the April 18 tax deadline is quickly approaching.

Thanks to MyFreeTaxes.com, students will have a helping hand through Orange County United Way’s OC Free Tax Prep campaign.

With this platform, qualifying students can file their taxes on their own, in their own time. It’s an easy, safe and convenient way for anyone earning $62,000 or less to file state and federal taxes.

The MyFreeTaxes filing software is provided by H&R Block, which uses the highest industry standards to safeguard taxpayer information. United Way Worldwide sponsors the program in partnership with the Walmart Foundation.

As part of the campaign, students using the platform can also receive tax preparation assistance from trained IRS-certified professionals along with valuable tools and strategies they can use to reduce their tax burden and/or maximize refunds.

Last season, the program returned more than $14 million in refunds and over $4.1 million in Earned Income Tax Credits to nearly 17,000 low-to-moderate income taxpayers throughout Orange County.

This free tax prep service provides a way for college students to file their taxes easily so they can focus on their education. In many cases, participants can reap the benefits of additional available credits while reducing their tax burden.

“One in five eligible tax filers don’t claim their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) each year, missing out on millions of dollars in unclaimed federal tax refunds,” stated Brenyale Toomer-Byas, Director, Income and Housing, at Orange County United Way. “Students can use these untapped dollars to pay for books, help with tuition or other needs.”

Residents earning less than $53,267 may be eligible for the Federal EITC and could receive a credit up to $6,242 on their federal tax return. In addition, CalEITC is a new California tax credit that puts up to $2,653 in the pockets of qualified individuals who made less than $6,580 last year. This could significantly boost income for students and reduce their financial hardship.

Free tax preparation services are provided by over 350 IRS-certified tax volunteers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Foundation Tax-Aide programs. These services take place at more than 30 partner sites across the county, including nonprofit centers, senior centers and schools.

To locate a free tax preparation site, call 888.434.8248. Individuals that wish to prepare their taxes from home may visit www.MyFreeTaxes.com. To learn more about United Way’s income goals and strategies to promote greater financial stability for Orange County families, visit http://www.unitedwayoc.org/income.


NEWS CONTACTS:

Katherine Ransom, Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Orange County United Way 949.263.6176, katheriner@unitedwayoc.org

Michael Suydam
21Strat 949.981.5008, mike@21strat.com


ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY:
Since 1924, Orange County United Way has been working to improve lives and strengthen our community by mobilizing the caring power of Orange County and focusing on the building blocks for a good quality of life: Education, Income, Health and Housing. By investing in Orange County children, families and individuals, we help them create pathways to self-sufficient lives. In short, we help people help themselves. Through our 10-year community-wide action plan, FACE 2024 (an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate), we collaborate with local businesses, community organizations, governmental agencies and individuals to make a long-term measurable difference in the lives of local individuals and families. To learn more or to join our movement, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.

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