Low and moderate-income taxpayers will learn how they may be eligible for bigger tax refunds and money-saving government benefits because of a new alliance between the nation’s largest tax preparation company and a leading community organization.
Sharing a goal of helping low-income taxpayers, H&R Block and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) together will create and execute community outreach programs designed to help consumers claim larger tax refunds and enroll in often-missed government assistance programs.
“Nearly 4.3 million eligible taxpayers missed out on billions of dollars by neglecting to claim the earned income tax credit in 2002 alone,” said Jeff Yabuki, H&R Block’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “ACORN connects with communities nationwide in ways that will help alert people to this credit and ensure that more of that money gets into the pockets of low- and moderate-income consumers.”
“The earned income tax credit helps working families make ends meet,” said Maude Hurd, ACORN’s national president. “But more can be done to ensure that everyone who earns these dollars gets and keeps all the dollars for which they qualify. We are excited to take this step with H&R Block toward this goal.”
The three-year alliance will focus on increasing awareness and understanding of helpful tax credits available to low- and moderate-income taxpayers. H&R Block will provide tax and financial expertise and funding to develop educational materials, while ACORN will implement the programs via its nationwide network of chapters and members and its resources within community organizations.
An estimated 20 percent of working people eligible for the earned income tax credit do not collect these needed dollars each year. The joint effort will focus on families and communities that are eligible for, but are not claiming, these tax credits. The earned income tax credit is an especially complex tax benefit because of constantly changing rules about how the credit is calculated, how to claim dependents, and the definition of “earned income.”
The project will also expand both organizations’ efforts to help connect families to other programs, including job training, food stamps and state health benefits that are too often missed by eligible, low- and moderate-income families.
In addition to the education and outreach programs designed to help taxpayers claim larger refunds, the H&R Block/ACORN alliance will work together on ways to help taxpayers keep more of their tax refunds.