The Prosperity Campaign free tax preparation service is coordinated in Hillsborough County through United Way of Tampa Bay and in Pinellas through the Juvenile Welfare Board. Individuals and families may also qualify for Earn Income Tax Credits often adding more dollars to tax refunds.
Throughout the Tampa Bay region, qualified individuals and families can receive free tax preparation through the Prosperity Campaign programs – in Hillsborough and in Pinellas Counties.
There are numerous locations throughout Tampa Bay. You can find a location by accessing the web at www.unitedwaytampabay.org/freetaxhelp or by calling 2-1-1 for information.
Free tax preparation sites will help ensure that taxpayers are aware of and claim any tax benefits to which they are entitled, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. This credit provides substantial opportunities for greater tax refund dollars.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program has been heralded as the greatest single anti-poverty program in the Federal Government. In 2011, $10.8 million in refunds, including more than $2.8 million in EITC dollars, flowed back into Hillsborough County. This money helped individuals, families and the regional economy. United Way is encouraging all qualified people to take advantage of this valuable program and more than 9,300 people did last year.
To qualify for the EITC, earned income and adjusted gross income must be less than:
• $43,998 (or $49,078 if married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
• $40,964 (or $46,044 if married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
• $36,052 (or $41,132 if married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
• $13,660 (or $18,740 if married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
The Maximum EITC for Income Earned in 2011:
• $5,751 with three or more qualifying children
• $5,112 with two qualifying children
• $3,094 with one qualifying child
• $464 with no qualifying children
Investment income must be $3,150 or less for the year.
Federal EITC: Points to Remember
• The tax credit is an opportunity to serve low-income families and communities everywhere and reduces the tax.
• The IRS estimates that 20 percent to 25 percent of eligible workers do not claim the tax credit.
• Workers without qualifying children may be eligible as well.
• Free tax preparation services can make it easier for eligible individuals to both claim the credit and save money, thus keeping more of what they earn.
• Regardless of tax liability, a return must be filed in order to receive the EITC as a refund.
• EITC has been heralded as “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”
The following partners help make the Prosperity Campaign of Hillsborough County free tax preparation possible through funding, training, site availability and support:
• Walmart Foundation
• Wells Fargo
• Bank of America
• National Disability Institute
• Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union
• Hillsborough County Family and Aging Services
• United Way of Tampa Bay
• Hillsborough Community College
• University of Tampa
• Bright Beginnings/Healthy Start Coalition
• Metropolitan Ministries
• University of South Florida
• Republic Bank
• Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance
• Workplace partners
• Bay Area Legal Services
• Children’s Board of Hillsborough County
ABOUT UNITED WAY
United Way is a local not-for-profit organization working in Tampa Bay since 1924 to mobilize the resources of individuals, companies, government, and labor to achieve positive, lasting changes in the lives of people in the community. Their mission is to inspire leaders and partners and mobilize resources to make a measurable difference in the lives of people in our community.
United Way views income, education and health as the basic building blocks of independence. By addressing all three of these issues through the human services programs it funds, United Way helps families become stronger and communities more vibrant.
United Way’s vision is to build a strong, caring community. United Way of Tampa Bay helps people build better lives by helping kids graduate and helping families find paths out of poverty. For more information on United Way visit www.UnitedWayTampaBay.org on the web.