Low-Income Families Can Get Taxes Done for Free
February 7, 2019
By Ana Gomez Salcido
San Diego County low-income families and individuals will once again be able to have their taxes filed for free, thanks to the County and its many partners.
The free tax preparation will take place until April 15 at dozens of locations throughout the county. The only requirement for the free service is that filers meet income requirements.
The annual free tax preparation services are part of the annual Earned Income Tax Credit campaign, which began in 2003 and was spearheaded by Supervisor Greg Cox. The campaign is conducted every tax season by local nonprofit organizations throughout the region and supported by the County Health and Human Services Agency’s Community Action Partnership, the IRS, AARP, United Way of San Diego County and 2-1-1 San Diego.
The campaign helps residents claim their EITC, the federal government’s largest assistance program to support low- to moderate-income families. The IRS estimates that between 20 and 25 percent of eligible people do not claim their EITC each year.
San Diego County residents can have their taxes prepared for them, do them themselves with assistance from a volunteer or do them on their own by visiting myfreetaxes.org. To receive free services, all people have to do is call 2-1-1 to make an appointment at a site near their address.
The free tax preparation campaign aims to get people out of poverty and help them thrive, one of the goals of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision.
Individuals and families who worked in 2018 and earned less than $54,884 could qualify for as much as $6,431 in federal EITC tax credit. The California credit could be as little as $223 or as much as $2,775. Residents must file a tax return to be eligible for both credits.
Last year, EITC campaign volunteers in San Diego filed more than 31,000 federal and state tax returns, saving taxpayers about $7.7 million in tax preparation fees. The campaign helped to bring about $40 million in total refunds to local working families and individuals. About $14 million of the refund amount was EITC dollars.