SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Housing Commission and two state legislators launched a campaign today to raise awareness about tax credits and tax preparation available to working families. The housing commission announced that it will offer free tax preparation help to San Diego households that earn up to $55,000. The Free Tax Prep San Diego program also will work to raise awareness about the state and federal earned-income tax credits, according to the housing commission.
Both credits pay out a lump sum refund to low- and middle-income taxpayers, particularly those with children.
``The state and federal earned-income tax credits provide families who need it most with the opportunity to receive a tax refund they can use to improve the quality of their lives, which is an important part of the mission of the San Diego Housing Commission,'' said housing commission President and CEO Richard Gentry.
State Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, announced that they will work with the housing commission to reach out to more than 9,000 eligible households. Atkins helped with the creation of the state's tax credit in 2015.
``In San Diego County, from the 2018 expansion alone, an estimated 63,000 additional people and their families will earn a tax credit that will help them afford some of life's basic necessities, such as a car repair or new clothes for the kids,'' Atkins said.
``In 2019 and beyond, we will continue to pursue policies such as the EITC that make things easier for our residents.''
According to the housing commission, qualifying low-income families in San Diego County can receive a combined state and federal earned-income tax credit of up to $9,310. Families can qualify for the state's EITC if they make less than $24,950 and the federal tax credit if they make less than $54,884.
The housing commission will offer free tax preparation at the San Diego Square Senior Apartments, Calle Primera and Vista Verde Apartments. The Free Tax Prep San Diego program helped roughly 16,000 county families file their tax returns and receive more than $26 million in tax refunds, according to the housing commission.
``San Diego is an expensive place to live and that's why it's so important for working families to take advantage of the earned-income tax credit,'' County Supervisor Greg Cox said.
``It's a great way for families to hold onto more of their hard-earned dollars.''