ICUL Tax Outreach Initiative
Each year, millions of working Americans are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but miss out because they either don't know about the credit, or don't know how to file for it. Working families need help from credit unions.
Why Do EITC Outreach? Here’s a few important facts.
Enacted in 1975, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), puts cash in the hands of low-income working families. In 2006, the federal EITC delivered $43 billion to eligible families, and has helped lift more working families out of poverty than any other federal program. Yet, an estimated 25% of eligible taxpayers don't know that they're entitled.
For those that do claim the credit, most turn to commercial tax preparers offering "fast cash" refunds. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), lead by IRS-certified volunteers, is a free alternative. Through the VITA program, taxpayers are encouraged to open accounts for electronic deposit of refunds, as a first step to asset building.
Connecting working families to EITC, VITA and asset building is something all credit unions can do. Whether you hang a poster, become a VITA volunteer or run a full-fledged campaign, your efforts to educate working families about these powerful tax benefits, will put money back into their pockets, back into the community, and give credit unions an opportunity to do what they do best -- help working people build a future free of financial hardship.
Ok, Now What? We Have the Information you Need.
Our commitment to helping you build a stronger credit union community is reflected in our latest initiative, http://www.ipaytaxes.org -- a free, uncomplicated web resource.
Recognizing no two credit unions are the same, ICUL has created an outreach action kit to assist with the development of a campaign that makes sense for your credit union. Start small or go big, credit unions will find everything they need, from free marketing material, to detailed information on organizing a community wide EITC/VITA event.
For more information or assistance with this initiative, please contact Joni Senkpeil, ICUL director of small credit union development.
Tax Outreach Resources
Outreach Action Kit
Center for Economic Progress Web site