Community Action programs, foundations get out word on earned income tax credit
Rhode Island residents who make $51,500 a year or less may be entitled to an earned income tax credit as well as free tax preparation.
Rhode Island Community Action Association (RICAA), the Citizens Bank Foundation, and the United Way of Rhode Island have partnered to launch a public awareness campaign promoting free tax preparation.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo are supporting the public awareness campaign launch.
“We all know someone who could benefit from receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit,” said Treasurer Raimondo. “This tax credit, partnered with free tax preparation, can help put families on a path toward financial stability and will ultimately make our neighborhoods stronger.”
Jeanne Gattegno is CEO of Westbay Community Action and Board Chair of the RI Community Action Association, whose member network serves more than 200,000 Rhode Islanders each year.
“The maximum tax credit savings a filer can be eligible for is $6,044,” says Gattegno, “we see people struggling every day. The Earned Income Tax Credit can be used to put food on the table, pay fuel bills, child care, or invest in education.”
In 2013, Earned Income Tax Credits combined with all other credits brought $15.5 million to the state of Rhode Island through the free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.
VITA, now in its 10th year, offers certified tax preparation volunteers at VITA sites throughout Rhode Island, including the eight member agencies of Rhode Island Community Action. United Way of Rhode Island has funded the VITA sites since 2004 and contributed $68,000 to the program’s community action agencies last year. Information on site locations and free tax preparation is available to all tax filers by calling United Way’s toll-free help line, 2-1-1.
“The EITC/VITA campaign is a great example of how much can be accomplished when we work together to help people who are struggling in these difficult economic times,” says Anthony Maione, president & CEO, United Way of Rhode Island.
“Every dollar counts and the EITC program can make a significant difference in the financial health of thousands of Rhode Islanders,” said Barbara Cottam, executive vice president, head of corporate affairs, RBS Citizens Financial Group. “This collaborative effort ensures our neighbors are aware of the resources and expertise available to them during the tax season to ensure they receive all the money they have earned.”