Image: United Way funding supports free tax preparation services across the community.
March 24, 2020
The 2020 tax season has presented its own unique set of challenges. Due to COVID-19 precautions, many free tax preparation sites closed their doors and funding for these essential services has gone down.
At United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, we know that access to key financial resources like free tax preparation can make a huge difference for individuals and families struggling to achieve financial stability. That’s why we fund free tax preparation, including Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs, in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties.
This year, many smaller free tax preparation sites saw an increased demand for their services. In response, United Way made a total of $42,000 in grants through the Financial Empowerment for Women funding initiative to ensure the following sites could meet the need:
- Crossroads Presbyterian Church (Mequon)
- Greenfield Public Library
- La Casa De Esperanza (to expand existing funding - Waukesha)
- Oconomowoc Area Senior Center
- Riverworks Development Corporation (Milwaukee)
- Shorewood Public Library (Shorewood)
- St. Francis of Assisi Parish (Milwaukee)
A major focus of these free tax preparation services is ensuring eligible families receive the appropriate tax credits. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), aimed at working families with low- to moderate income, is proven to have lifelong health, education, and income benefits for children in households that receive it. However, data shows that one in five eligible households miss out on this benefit.
Combined, the EITC and the Child Tax Credit lift 8.9 million Americans out of poverty each year.
Funding for these sites will also help ensure that seniors and individuals with transportation challenges can access safe, free, and in-person tax preparation support in their own community.
Great things happen when we Live United!
To find free tax preparation services near you, click here.
Click here to learn more about United Way’s work in financial stability and how you can get involved.