WASHINGTON, April 5, 2011 -- With about two weeks left in this year's tax season and with fewer families able to pay to have their taxes prepared in this challenging economic climate, the Walmart Foundation, United Way, One Economy and the National Disability Institute's Real Economic Impact Tour are urging eligible tax filers to take advantage of easy, free tax preparation and filing tools. These tools will help tax filers save money as well as claim refunds and valuable credits like the earned income tax credit (EITC).
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as of March 25, there were still about 60 million taxpayers yet to file their returns this year. The IRS estimates that 20 to 25 percent of all taxpayers file in the final two weeks of the tax season.
This free tax preparation and filing campaign, now in its third year, is a collaborative partnership built on the support of a $4.2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation.
"As people continue to struggle with economic challenges, the Walmart Foundation wants to ensure that those eligible for the earned income tax credit are aware of the benefit and have access to it," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. "Through our $4.2 million grant, we are raising awareness and providing access to free filling services. Last year, this grant helped more than 1 million people file their returns for free, amounting to more than $1.6 billion in tax refunds, credits and tax preparation savings."
Each year, one in four eligible families fail to claim their earned income tax credit (EITC). For eligibility requirements and more information on claiming EITC benefits, visit http://www.myfreetaxes.com/ . Consumers can also calculate their EITC benefits via cell phone by visiting: http://bit.ly/mytaxbackapp .
Free Filing Details:
- MyFreeTaxes.com: Consumers who make less than $57,000 a year can file their state and federal taxes for free at www.MyFreeTaxes.com. MyFreeTaxes.com was developed by One Economy Corporation.
- United Way VITA Sites: Nearly 100 community-based Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the nation, supported by United Way and other organizations, are providing free tax preparation and filing services to eligible tax filers. For eligibility information, and to find a local VITA site, dial 2-1-1.
- National Disability Institute's Real Economic Impact Tour: The national initiative provides free tax preparation and filing assistance, along with other asset building strategies, to low-income persons with disabilities. Visit www.reitour.org to learn more.
Partnership Impact to Date:
The Walmart Foundation's partnership with United Way, One Economy and the National Disability Institute's Real Economic Impact Tour is expected to help return an estimated $1.75 billion in total tax refunds, credits and tax preparation savings this year. Eligible filers are expected to save more than $194 million in preparer fees this year. For more information, visit http://www.myfreetaxes.com/.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfoundation.org/ .
About United Way
United Way is a worldwide network in 40 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit: LIVEUNITED.org.
About One Economy
One Economy Corporation is a global nonprofit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people. More than 19 million people have used One Economy's online tools and resources, including public-purpose media at http://www.pic.tv/ , to build better lives. Learn more at http://www.one-economy.com/.
About National Disability Institute's Real Economic Impact Tour
Designed to provide Americans with disabilities insight, tools and resources to improve their lives through financial education and training, the Real Economic Impact Tour is a groundbreaking effort powered by the National Disability Institute that's been the gateway for many to explore opportunities which connect them to financial independence. The 100 2011 Real Economic Impact Tour cities focus on building inclusive communities of practice and assisting taxpayers with disabilities who earn $49,000 or less who may be eligible for certain tax credits. Key components include free tax preparation and financial education plus benefits counseling, asset summits, workgroup meetings, audio conferences and more in select cities. To learn more, visit http://www.reitour.org/.
Contact: Phillip Keene, 1-800-331-0085, http://walmartstores.com/reporter