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Press Release

United Way and Bank of America Partner to Bring Free Tax Preparation Services to Low-Income Families

Through the Federal Government's EITC Program, Working Families Can Receive Up to $5,657 Annually in Tax Credits; Two-Thirds of Qualifying Filers Don't Use Free Tax Prep 

 

Alexandria, VAUnited Way Worldwide and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced their joint effort to provide free tax preparation and other social services to low-income individuals and families across the nation who qualify for the Federal Government's earned income tax credit (EITC) program and can earn up to $5,657 in tax credits for the 2009 tax year. With help from a new $2 million grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, United Ways in 61 markets will offer these services at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) locations from January 29, 2010 to April 15, 2010.

The effort, which is part of the larger Bank of America-funded United Way Financial Stability PartnershipTM, is designed to improve the financial well being of low-income individuals and families by providing tools to increase their income, build savings and develop and maintain their assets.

Although more than 23.7 million people received $49.3 billion in EITC in tax year 2008, up to 25 percent of the families who qualify for the maximum EITC are not aware of their eligibility and are leaving those refunds unclaimed, according to data from the IRS.

"With support from Bank of America, United Ways across the country will help even more families improve their financial stability," said Brian A. Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. "The commitment of Bank of America and its employees brings awareness and resources to an important program and increases access to free tax filing and to tax credits that bring critical dollars back into our nation's communities."

"Building the financial security of our nations' families and communities is critical to revitalizing our economy," said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "With only one-third of qualifying filers actually taking advantage of free tax preparation services, the VITA sites provide an opportunity to help put money back in the pockets of hard working families. Our longstanding financial stability partnership with the United Way is one great example of how the bank is helping support pathways out of poverty."

To date, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has provided $4.5 million in grants to support the United Way's EITC program and helped launch the United Way Financial Stability Partnership. In 2008 and 2009, Bank of America associates also provided thousands of volunteer hours to help working individuals and families claim valuable tax refunds and will continue these efforts in 2010 at participating United Way VITA sites.

Eligibility Criteria for Tax Year 2009:
Earned Income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

  • $43,279 ($48,279 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $40,295 ($45,295 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $35,463 ($40,463 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $13,440 ($18,440 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

Tax Year 2009 Maximum Credit:

  • $5,657 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,028 with two qualifying children
  • $3,043 with one qualifying child
  • $457 with no qualifying children

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