CAMPAIGN TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT11/14/06
Our guests, Cherin Stover (Project Co-ordinator of the Pinellas Wealth Building Coalition) and Dr. Darryl Paulson (Professor of Government Studies at USF/St. Petersburg) discussed efforts to raise awareness about the EITC. Their focus was:
Outreach/public awareness to increase the number of families who know about and claim the EITC, CTC and other credits. (The IRS estimates that up to 20% of those eligible are not claiming the credit, which means millions of lost dollars to the local economy.)
Free tax preparation sites to increase participation and reduce fees related to commercial filing. (They are in the process of recruiting volunteers in order to offer free tax preparation services.)
Programs that help families build assets through financial education and savings and investment of tax refunds. (They offer free financial education classes year round.)
They also discussed the danger of using payday lenders or having tax forms prepared in return for RAL's (Refund Anticipation Loans).