CHICAGO, Feb. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Concerned community organizations sounded the alarm regarding double-digit decreases in the number of people filing returns as compared to previous years. David Marzahl CEO of Center for Economic Progress said, "We want to address this trend by pro-actively encouraging everyone to file." This year all Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refunds are delayed by four to six weeks due to additional enforcement actions taken by the IRS. We are also especially concerned that people with disabilities and working grandparents, who often miss out on the EITC despite their eligibility, may not be aware of the tax credit. "Coupled with growing fear in immigrant communities around interactions with government, and other misinformation this tax season, we are concerned that tens of millions of dollars in refunds owed to taxpayers may go unclaimed this year," Marzahl added.
Pedro Diaz Director of Financial Wellness at The Resurrection Project was one of several speakers. His statement is below.
"We too are hearing many concerns from the community regarding tax filing. Recent actions from the current administration and the IRS' announcement about additional enforcement actions related to the EITC is causing widespread fear across immigrant communities. The IRS' additional enforcement is be interpreted as additional vetting of a household's tax filing and legal status. The concern is greatest for mixed status households. They fear the additional enforcement will lead to an audit of previous filings. Because of this fear, many families eligible for EITC are considering not filing this year, even though they have filed in the past. ITIN holders who have filed in the past are also very fearful of additional government scrutiny and questioning whether filing their taxes puts them at risk."
"In order to help families make an informed decision, one that is best for their family, TRP is committed to partnering with tax experts CEP, the Mexican Consulate, and other community based organizations to disseminate the right information about tax filing and the EITC program. TRP is committed to helping families make the right decision around taxes, protecting their assets, and other financial issues. We are including information about taxes and protection of assets, as well as know your rights information, in regular workshops and community presentations held at churches, the Mexican Consulate, schools and other community locations."
Speakers in order of appearance
- David Marzahl, CEO and President, Center for Economic Progress (CEP) #econ_progress
- Juan Villlalbos, Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships (CEP)
- Veronica Villasenor, Director of Financial Services for the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
- Pedro Diaz, Director of Financial Wellness, The Resurrection Project (TRP) @Trpistas
- Wendy DuBoe, President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago @unitedwaychi
- Satori Bailey, Director, Asset Building Programs and Udodi Okoh, Operations Manager , Asset Building Program (CEP)
- Sergio Guzman, IRS Chicago Territory
About the Center for Economic Progress. Founded in 1990, the Center for Economic Progress (CEP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping hard-working, low-income families move from financial uncertainty to financial security. From tax help and legal advice to year-round financial coaching, CEP has helped more than 300,000 families with free tax and financial services. Operating one of the largest and oldest tax preparation programs in the country, CEP has been on the forefront of turning tax time into an opportunity for families to get ahead--returning more than half a billion dollars in refunds to Illinois communities. For more information, visit www.economicprogress.org.
About The Resurrection Project
The Resurrection Project is a multifaceted organization that seamlessly blends community development, community organizing, human service delivery, and advocacy to build healthier and engaged communities. Since its founding in 1990 with an initial seed capital of $30,000, TRP has leveraged more than $431 million in community reinvestment through homes for ownership, rental housing, small businesses and community facilities. To date TRP has developed 733 units of affordable housing, and created over 264,000 square feet of community commercial space, creating vibrant, healthier and involved communities. For more information about The Resurrection Project, please visit www.resurrectionproject.org.
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SOURCE Center for Economic Progress