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Orange County United Way’s OC Free Tax Prep Program Breaks Records, Serves 20,750 Individuals And Results In $21.9 Million Local Impact

Orange County United Way’s OC Free Tax Prep Program Breaks Records, Serves 20,750 Individuals and Results in $21.9 Million Local Impact

Irvine, CA, July 9, 2019 – Orange County United Way’s OC Free Tax Prep program, with support from Citi Community Development, served a record-breaking number of individuals and families throughout Orange County this year – helping more people than ever keep more of their hard-earned money and save towards a better future.

A Snapshot of 2019 Outcomes

  • 20,750 clients served throughout Orange County
  • $17.7 million in federal refunds issued, including more than $4.8 million in federal Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC)
  • $4.2 million saved in tax preparation fees
  • Total local impact of $21.9 million

Orange County United Way partnered with 33 local organizations and hosted more than 450 free tax preparation events throughout the county to help eligible taxpayers file their taxes free of charge and see if they qualified for federal and newly expanded California EITC – available for households earning less than $55,000.

“This year, our OC Free Tax Prep program helped more hard-working Orange County residents than ever keep more of their earnings,” said Susan B. Parks, President and CEO, Orange County United Way. “For many families, these credits and refunds make all the difference – helping pay for rent, healthy food or medical expenses. I am so proud of the United Way team for executing our most successful year of free tax prep services yet.”

Annually, Orange County United Way leads the OC Tax Prep communitywide coalition of organizations and partners, manages volunteer recruitment and training, operates free tax preparation sites and a tax appointment hotline, distributes countrywide awareness materials to let more residents know of this free service, and ensures the execution of a successful countywide savings campaign serving thousands of taxpayers.

“It is an honor for the Internal Revenue Service to partner with Orange County United Way and the OC Free Tax Prep coalition to help build family financial resiliency across Orange County, CA. Eligible taxpayers receive high-quality, no-cost tax filing assistance and education from Orange County United Way and its partners. Together, we strengthen the community’s ability to become financially healthy and independent,” said Frank Nolden, Director, Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC), IRS.

For the last six tax seasons, the OC Free Tax Prep program has grown 37% – filing more than 107,000 tax returns, supporting $93 million returning to the community through tax refunds and saving taxpayers an estimated $20 million – that’s a combined impact of $113 million for local Orange County communities.

“Orange County United Way has made great strides in connecting eligible filers with the tools and resources they need to make the most of the tax season,” said Laura Peralta, Vice President, Citi Community Development. “Through Citi’s collaboration with Orange County United Way on this program, we have seen how access to free tax preparation and multilingual outreach can expand financial resilience and security for eligible families across the area.”

The OC Free Tax Prep program is part of a larger United Way Income Initiative to increase the number of financially stable families in Orange County and break the cycle of poverty.

ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY

Today’s Orange County United Way is doing more for the Education, Health, Housing and Financial Stability of every person in Orange County. More than a fundraiser, we’re hands-on, delivering more than 50 Community Impact programs countywide. We focus on long-term solutions to the most critical interconnected challenges facing local children and families. United Way is doing more to make long-term measurable difference in the lives of children and families right here in Orange County. To learn more or do more with us, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.

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Media Contact: Nicole Morrison, nmorrison@cornerstonecomms.com, (949) 200-6110

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