Article Submitted by Maggie Ramsberger, Program Coordinator, County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency
On Wednesday May 23rd, the San Diego County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition hosted their Annual Volunteer Recognition Event to recognize the efforts of local volunteer tax preparers for their participation in the 2018 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Eleven of this year’s top volunteers and the organizations they represented came together at the Jackie Robinson YMCA to celebrate another successful tax season, which brought back over $32 million in federal refunds to the region.
Formed in 2002, the San Diego Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition is a partnership between the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency, the United Way of San Diego County, and the IRS’s Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication office. Together, these organizations support the work of more than 20 community and non-profit partners that offer free tax assistance services each year at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the region.
“San Diego’s VITA model is considered the gold standard by the United Ways of California – we couldn’t be prouder of the volunteers that make that possible,” said Torrey Albertazzi, Impact Program Manager with the United Way of San Diego County.
This year’s Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign generated close to $13 million dollars in tax credits for individuals and families with low-to-moderate income in San Diego County. The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, is considered one of the largest and most powerful anti-poverty tools in the United States, helping millions of tax filers out of poverty and into financial stability. In addition to free tax assistance, individuals who went to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites in San Diego County were also eligible to get help accessing other important tax credits, like the Child Tax Credit and the Education Tax Credit.
“By contributing their time and effort to the Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition work, these volunteers contributed significantly to advancing the vision of Live Well San Diego,” said Dale Fleming, Director, Office of Strategy & Innovation, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency. “We are very pleased to be able to recognize their commitment to helping local families that are working hard but struggling be able to thrive.”
For more information about the San Diego County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition, including opportunities to volunteer at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site, visit uwsd.org/EITC. For information on accessing these tax services at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site, call 211 or visit 211sandiego.org/.