From 1040
IRS form 1040. Image courtesy County News Center.

The San Diego Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition announced Thursday that it assisted more than 33,000 low-income households with free tax preparation services this year, helping them receive more than $47 million in refunds.

The coalition, led by United Way of San Diego County, has offered free tax assistance for the last 17 years to encourage more low-income residents to take advantage of the state and federal EITCs. The coalition estimated earlier this year that more than 300,000 residents in San Diego County are eligible for both credits.

“San Diego families are often eligible to earn thousands of dollars back in tax refunds, but tax laws are complicated, and they don’t know where to start nor do they have the resources to hire a tax professional,” said United Way of San Diego County President and CEO Nancy Sasaki. “The Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition believes hardworking households that live paycheck-to- paycheck should have access to financial support.”

A total of 650 volunteers with the coalition offered tax preparation help at 54 sites around the county earlier this year, helping residents avoid $9.2 million in fees for preparation services. The coalition announced in its annual report that it assisted 33,770 households, with nearly 9,000 receiving more than $15 million in combined federal EITC.

The coalition is composed of more than 20 local organizations, including 211 San Diego, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and the American Association of Retired Persons. Information on the coalition’s free tax preparation services for 2020 can be found at

“These results would not be possible without the hard work of the EITC Coalition’s partner organizations and dedicated volunteers over the past 17 tax seasons,” Sasaki said.

“Together, we will continue to create a clear conduit for San Diegans to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the nation’s most powerful anti-poverty programs to ensure continued stability for the families we serve.”

— City News Service