LOS ANGELES, July 15, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — This past week United Ways of California has been running a Tax Countdown Informational Series in the media to inform low to middle-income hardworking Californians about critical tax information, key deadlines and free solutions at United Way’s MyFreeTaxes.org site. Today (July 15) is the deadline to file a tax return and pay federal taxes. If filers don’t owe taxes above what has been withheld from their paychecks already, they receive an automatic additional extension to file federal and state taxes until October 15. If filers think they owe taxes but aren’t ready to file a return, they must request an extension, or they may be hit with penalties and interest due on the amount owed. In either case, it is still a good idea to file and pay sooner than later.
Several Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, partners, subgrantees, and MyFreeTaxes.org will continue to operate until October 15, 2020. The website helps people get connected to services that provide free, virtual assistance to those who still need to do their taxes. Any immediate tax questions can be answered by calling 1–866-698-9435, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, PST. Additionally, you can text TAXES to 211-211 to get guidance.
“Filing taxes is nobody’s favorite thing, and it’s an especially daunting task during the complexities of COVID-19,” says Peter Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California. “We’re trying to break down the information into actionable items so individuals and families don’t lose money through unnecessary interest payments and may even find additional money through tax credits,” Manzo added.
Through MyFreeTaxes.org California United Ways help users to put unspent tax preparation money back into necessities and to find tax credits. With the help of a free, expert tax provider and armed with the knowledge that taxes can be amended for up to three years, filers could soon discover significant tax credits. For example, a federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is up to $6557, a federal Child Tax Credit is up to $2000, our state’s CalEITC is up to $2982, and our state’s Young Child Tax Credit is up to $1000. These are per year totals so amending filings for up to three years could mean getting up to three times these amounts. Absolutely no cost to the participant, these credits can be life-altering for families. A claim can be filed and a refund received for up to three years for the federal and four years for the state from the due date. Visit MyFreeTaxes.org, select “in-person” and work with a virtual volunteer to file not only this past year’s federal and state tax returns, but to work with that same virtual volunteer to file taxes (or amend filed returns) for the last three years.
“Taxes can be incredibly stressful, so luckily there is an extension for us procrastinators,” says a MyFreeTaxes.org user.
No one should pay to prepare and file their federal and state tax returns during a pandemic which has left millions unemployed. Two out of five Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recipients with $500 or less in the bank spent half of their stimulus monies within 10 days of receipt. Tax preparation and filing cost families already struggling to meet basic needs several hundred dollars or more. Free tax preparation helps those struggling to balance budgets. As a nonprofit, United Way’s mission is to help low to middle-income households earn, keep, and save more.
About United Ways of California:
United Ways of California improves health, education, and financial results for low-income children and families by enhancing and coordinating the advocacy and community impact work of California’s 29 local United Ways. United Ways of California was formed in 2008 by California’s local United Ways seeking to work together to educate state and national leaders about policy issues affecting community impact goals in health, education, and financial stability.
SOURCE United Ways of California