NewsMaking It In San Diego


San Diego County program offers free tax help, filing

Posted at 10:29 AM, Feb 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-27 13:30:57-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - This year, there are several new laws and changes that can make doing taxes even more confusing than usual. But there's a local program that is offering free help.

MarieCruz is a mother trying to make every dollar go as far as possible. Last year, when it came time to file her taxes, she reached out for help from the EITC Coalition.

"They find some other credits that I might qualify for," she said.

She was able to get back around $2,000.

"Basic expenses like rent making a repair on the car, car payment it was a lot to me," she said.

The coalition brings together the United Way, 211 San Diego, the county and the IRS to help to qualify San Diegans to take advantage of every tax credit possible and file their returns free of charge.

"Many people don't even think they're eligible, may not know they're eligible may not even be filing their taxes," Nancy Sasaki, president and CEO of the United Way of San Diego County said.

Sasaki said the program is designed for people who are moderate to low income.

"The people that are most likely to be eligible are making less than $57,000 a year," she said. "But what's really, best call 211 and talk with them, and they'll help you determine whether or not your eligible."

The coalition has certified tax preparers all over San Diego County and has virtual options.

Sasaki said many of the people they help have been missing out on money that's theirs.

"Many people don't think they make enough money to be getting anything back, and that's what we're trying to make sure people understand," she said.

Although each person has a unique tax filing situation, there are several major changes to be aware of this year:

  • Your monthly child tax credit payments may increase or decrease your refund
  • There's a recovery rebate tax credit if you haven't received a third stimulus check
  • Don't have to itemize to claim charitable deductions.

Last year, the EITC Coalition filed nearly 30,000 returns which added up to millions of dollars in refunds and tax credits for San Diegans.

"Maybe a thousand two thousand dollars back, and that's so helpful when you're trying to make ends meet," Sasaki said. "That means you can rest easy that the rent is paid, or you can feel good that foods gonna be on the table, and it's not that struggle on a month to month basis."

And not having to struggle is a good feeling.

"Trust because that's a service that's given to the community to help low-income people, and they should use it," MarieCruz said.

For more information, visit the EITC Coalition website.