LOS ANGELES—On February 2, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched a campaign to provide free tax preparation services to low-to-moderate income households, and assist taxpayers in claiming state and federal tax credits.
According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, to launch Free Tax Prep Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti was joined by Jerome Horton of the California State Board of Equalization and Los Angeles City Controller, Ron Galperin.
“Filing taxes can be complicated – and without professional assistance, too many eligible residents aren’t aware of tax credits that can put thousands of dollars back in their pockets,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Angelenos work hard, and should claim the refunds they’re due. That money can help working parents get quality childcare, reduce debt and invest in themselves and their children in so many meaningful ways.”
According to a press release, households with an annual income of $54,000 or less may qualify for up to $9,000 in tax credits through the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
There will be a total of 16 FamilySource Centers (FSC) open in the city during the tax season to help families claim their refunds.
The Free Tax Prep Los Angeles campaign is a public-private partnership between the city of Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA), Citi Community Development, the Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC), the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), the Youth Policy Institute, and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
The campaign is funded by a $250,000 grant from Citi Innovation to HCIDLA.
In addition, the Youth Policy Institute and the Koreatown Youth and Community Center each obtained a $300,000 grant. Jointly, these funds will expand the integration of complimentary tax prep education into services provided at FSC. These services include helping families get safe and affordable banking products, giving people access to information on how to claim the EITC, as well as giving them connections to counseling services and financial coaching.
“Los Angeles is home to 60 percent of California’s eligible EITC filers, yet families in Los Angeles leave over $566 million in unclaimed tax credits on the table each year,” said James Alva, Southern California Market Manager, Citi Community Development. “Free Tax Prep Los Angeles will expand access to tax credits and financial coaching that empower more working families with the tools they need to build a resilient financial future.”
There have been 23 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) locations identified by Free Tax Prep Los Angeles in communities who are in need of tax filing assistance. These sites offer complimentary basic income tax return preparation services, and electronic filings for those who qualify.
To learn more about this campaign, please visit www.FreeTaxPrepLA.com.