Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday announced the city is helping offer free tax preparation services to low-to-moderate income households.
"Filing taxes can be complicated -- and without professional assistance, too many eligible residents aren't aware of tax credits that can put thousands of dollars back in their pockets,'' Garcetti said.
"Angelenos work hard, and should claim the refunds they're due. That money can help working parents get quality childcare, reduce debt and invest in themselves and their children in so many meaningful ways.''
Garcetti said all 16 of the city's FamilySource Centers will be open throughout the tax season to assist families in need of help through a program called Free Tax Prep Los Angeles, and 23 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites across the city and county will also be offering their services.
The program is funded by a $250,000 Citi Innovation grant to the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department, and a $300,000 loan each to the Koreatown Youth and Community Center and the Youth Policy Institute from the California Department of Community Services and Development.
Households with annual incomes of $54,000 or less may qualify for approximately $9,000 in cash back through the State and Federal Earned Income Tax Credit, Garcetti's office said.
"Los Angeles is home to 60 percent of California's eligible EITC filers, yet families in Los Angeles leave over $566 million in unclaimed tax credits on the table each year,'' said James Alva, Southern California market manager for Citi Community Development. "Free Tax Prep Los Angeles will expand access to tax credits and financial coaching that empower more working families with the tools they need to build a resilient financial future.''
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The city and county also plan to host a "Claim Your Refund Day'' on Saturday at participating VITA sites.
More information can be found on the program at www.FreeTaxPrepLA.com.