Many Fort Wayne residents go to work every day but find they are unable to make ends meet. Often tax time becomes even more difficult for these families, but there is a way my administration is reaching out to help.
By partnering with CANI, RSVP, Project Renew, the United Way, the Hispanic Leadership Coalition, Vincent House, National City Bank, AARP, the Fort Wayne Urban League, the East Wayne Street Center, the Benito Juarez Center and the Salvation Army the City of Fort Wayne is kicking off the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Outreach Initiative.
EITC is a tax benefit for low-income individuals. The eligibility requirements are as follows:
• Workers with two or more children living with them and family earnings below $33,178 can get up to $4,140 in federal tax refunds.
• Workers with one child living with them and family earnings below $29,201 can get up to $2,506 in federal tax refunds.
• Workers with no children living with them and making less than $11,060 can get up to $376 in federal tax refunds.
The problem with EITC is that many eligible workers don't even know the credit exists. This is true in Fort Wayne, where numbers show just 22 percent of EITC eligible families are claiming the refund. That is why my administration has started this outreach initiative.
Through our partnership, the City has set up five Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. The sites will be open and staffed with volunteer tax preparers from February 3 through April 15. Multilingual tax prepares or translators will be available at the sites as well. They are: the Benito Juarez Center, the East Wayne Street Center, CANI Head Start at the Salvation Army, the Pontiac Youth Center and CANI on Lake Avenue.
I encourage all Fort Wayne families who meet the eligibility requirements to visit one of the City's VITA sites for free tax preparation. They will be able to help you claim an EITC refund and put more money in your pocket.