Welcome!

News Feed Item

United Way, Branches and MDC Expand Effort to Bring Money to Residents of Miami-Dade County This Tax Season

Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Officials From the IRS and City of Miami Help Launch National EITC Awareness Day

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.

VITA Facts

  • 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.


United Way and Branches Media-only contacts:
Yanet Obarrio Sanchez
Email Contact
305-213-5262

Isabelle Pike
Email Contact
305-206-5689

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and the...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We focus on composable infrastructure. Composable infrastructure has been named by companies like Gartner as the evolution of the IT infrastructure where everything is now driven by software," explained Bruno Andrade, CEO and Founder of HTBase, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. 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 organi...