April 4, 2003

Free Tax Filing Assistance to the Public

City of San Diego and the IRS Partner to Offer Assistance on April 5th and 12th

The City of San Diego and the Internal Revenue have collaborated to offer free income tax assistance on Saturday, April 5th and 12th through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Volunteers trained by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will prepare the forms between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on both days. On April 5th, tax assistance is available at the Otay Mesa/Nestor Community Service Center, 695 Saturn Blvd., Suite E. On April 12th, tax assistance is available at the Plaza Las Americas, on Camino de la Plaza east of Interstate 5 in San Ysidro. This event is aimed at taxpayers filing a 1040EZ or a basic 1040 tax return who may qualify for the 2002 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

“Sadly we have a lot of local families who struggled to make ends meet in 2002. Working families deserve a break, and the federal government is ready to help those who go after the assistance,” commented IRS Tax Specialist, Reynaldo Lopez.

Working families with children who earned $34,178 or less in combines household income may qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. Single adults who earned $11,060 or less are also eligible. The IRS estimated that about 82 percent of Americans eligible for the EITC credit filed the paperwork to claim the additional money last year.

Instituted by Congress in 1975, the Earned Income Tax Credit is considered one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in the country. For families who owe taxes, the credit can sharply reduce them, and for those whose have no tax liability, the credit is returned to them as a refund. The VITA Program was established by the Internal Revenue Service to help people who may not be able to afford professional tax assistance.

Those seeking tax assistance should bring wage and earnings statements from their employers (Form W-2), interest statements from banks (Form 1099-INT), copies of last year’s tax returns (if available), social security numbers for themselves and any dependents and any other relevant information concerning 2002 income and expenses.

On the day of the event, walk-ins welcome and appointments are highly recommended. To schedule an appointment for April 5th, call (619) 424-0220. For an appointment on April 12th, call (619) 424-0230.

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