|By Marketwired .||
|January 31, 2014 11:15 AM EST||
MIAMI, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 01/31/14 -- The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit lifts more Americans out of poverty than any other program. In Miami-Dade, the IRS estimates that 20 percent who qualify aren't claiming it. Today, a collaborative of partners led by Branches, which operates the United Way Center for Financial Stability, gathered to promote EITC Awareness Day at Miami Dade College (MDC) Wolfson Campus. This year, for the first time, Branches announced it will coordinate the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance VITA program in Miami-Dade.
So far, the community-wide collaboration has 32 partners, hosting 39 VITA sites. At each site, IRS-certified volunteers will provide free tax preparation services to underserved populations. Branches has received the VITA grant from the Department of Treasury and IRS to facilitate and promote high quality free tax preparation in Miami-Dade by engaging and training partners, equipping volunteers and educating the public.
Because of MDC's 20-year commitment to the financial stability of its students and the community through the VITA Program, it served as the ideal backdrop to launch the 2014 VITA collaborative. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez; United Way President and CEO, Harve Mogul; Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus President, Dr. José A. Vicente; Miami Dade College School of Business Dean, Rafael "Rafo" Saldaña; Branches Director of Financial Stability, Lars Gilberts; IRS Territory Manager, Maritza R. Michaud; and City of Miami Special Projects Administrator, William Porro -- all spoke about the importance of EITC and VITA for our community.
"Preparing tax returns is not easy, but the service is critical for so many individuals and families in our community. Many people don't know that the government owes them money or they can access tax help for free," said Mayor Gimenez. "I hope every eligible person will take advantage of all of the services we're offering."
The collaborative hopes to process 7,000 income tax returns, saving Miami-Dade taxpayers an estimated $525,000 in fees they would have to pay at other tax preparation sites. United Way and Branches are also planning a county-wide marketing campaign, incorporating outdoor, radio and online ads, direct marketing, public relations and social media efforts.
"The VITA program is here to help, and we are committed to raising its profile so that more families can use it and benefit from it," Mogul said. "As a matter of fact, more than 80 percent of Miami Dade residents qualify for this free service. Our goal is to make sure that as many people as possible who struggle to make ends meet, speak another language or have a disability are aware of this free and valuable service."
Day-to-day management of the VITA sites is provided by a myriad of partner organizations, including businesses, schools, non-profits, churches and government. To bolster the effort, Branches has recruited more than 320 volunteers to staff the VITA sites in 2014.
"The VITA program is an amazing opportunity for people to gain confidence and control over their finances," Gilberts said. "Helping people move from fear of taxes to excitement over how to use their refund to protect and strengthen their family is an amazing experience."
Over the past two decades MDC has continued to expand its VITA program, starting at one campus and now offered at seven. More than 100 students volunteer every year to provide this free income tax service to the public. Since its inception, approximately 20,000 taxpayers have been helped. In terms of dollars and impact on the local community, the VITA Program at MDC alone represents an estimated savings of $800,000 in tax preparation fees and $40 million in earned income credit refunds received by underserved groups in the community.
"The VITA Program is a key service we offer, and we value these partnerships that help us educate and empower not just our students, but the community as a whole," said Vicente.
To find a VITA site or to get tax help, call Switchboard of Miami at 305-358-HELP(4357) or 211. To find out more about IRS income limits for EITC visit http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/EITC-Income-Limits,-Maximum-Credit--Amounts-and-Tax-Law-Updates.
Volunteers are trained, supported and recognized for their invaluable contribution of time and talent. Those wishing to volunteer, call 305-688-3551 ext 1003.
For additional information about MDC's VITA Program, please call 305-237-3151.
How EITC helps filers get ahead
- The EITC's primary recipients are working parents with children and limited incomes. It can have a significant impact on families, because the maximum return of $6,044 can represent more than one-third of their annual income.
- For many families and individuals it may be the only time all year they have the funds to start a savings account and can begin building assets.
- Research shows that a significant share of families use part of their EITC to educate and care for their children, assist with rent/mortgage payments, apply toward medical bills or unexpected expenses.
- The EITC has been praised and expanded by Republican and Democratic administrations alike, and has been celebrated by economists across the political spectrum.
- According to IRS data from 2011, more than 80 percent of tax filers in Miami-Dade will qualify for VITA services; IRS has set the eligibility threshold for EITC to $51,500 or less.
- 39 VITA sites are available across Miami-Dade including public, employer-based and mobile sites. Find a site near you at http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/
- Free, do-it-yourself online filing is available for eligible filers with incomes of $58,000 or less at http://www.myfreetaxes.com/uwcfs.
- At select sites, volunteers will help educate filers about additional financial resources.
- Refunds are available as early as 7-10 days when directly deposited to a bank account.
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 26, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,862
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
Mar. 26, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,031
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
Mar. 26, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 7,550
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
Mar. 26, 2017 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 6,103
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
Mar. 26, 2017 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 9,581
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Mar. 26, 2017 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,253
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 26, 2017 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,035
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
Mar. 26, 2017 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,588
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
Mar. 26, 2017 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,125
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating...
Mar. 26, 2017 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 6,520
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Mar. 26, 2017 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,801
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, explored HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
Mar. 26, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 10,536
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...
Mar. 26, 2017 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 946
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 26, 2017 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,768
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great dea...
Mar. 26, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,370