Hispanics Face Significant Barriers in Filing Taxes

Aug 15, 2012, 13:37 ET from Hispanic Access Foundation

Campaign strives to educate Spanish-speaking taxpayers, remove challenges

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For those new to the U.S. tax system, filing taxes can be a confusing and intimidating process. For Hispanics, barriers such as language, fraud and misinformation add to the list of complications. To help address Spanish-speaking taxpayers' needs for trustworthy and credible help, the Hispanic Access Foundation has expanded its outreach and educational campaign in partnership with H&R Block, the world's largest tax services provider, to reach more than 3 million additional Latinos.

The campaign "Preparate Para Un Futuro Mejor" (Prepare Yourself for a Better Future) emphasizes the importance of building an accurate tax history and gives Hispanics tools to protect against fraud and misinformation in the tax preparation process.

"This campaign has already helped thousands of Hispanics with issues such as fears about immigration status, situations of fraud and trusting unskilled tax preparers," said Maite Arce, executive director of HAF. "The demand for help is so immense there was no hesitation in expanding to more cities. This is a critical need for Hispanics and for the long-term prospects of this country as a whole."

Hispanic buying power is expected to reach $1.5 trillion in 2015, according to a recent Nielsen report. Additionally, the U.S. Census estimates that Hispanic business-owners contribute more than $70 billion to the nation's economy. While there is no concrete number, estimates place the number of Hispanics not filing taxes in the millions.

"For the majority of Hispanics, it's not a question of not wanting to pay taxes, but rather a lack of understanding and fear of the process. With access to quality information in their language and to bilingual tax experts, they can build their knowledge about taxes," said Arce. "H&R Block and its more than 2,500 bilingual offices nationwide make them an ideal partner to help this population."

Throughout the campaign, HAF and H&R Block will work with faith-based and community leaders to discuss tax issues, participate in community events and promote informational tax seminars called "Tax Talks." More information about this campaign and a list of seminars is available at www.pormifuturo.org.

About Hispanic Access Foundation
Hispanic Access Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to promote responsible citizenship, educational attainment, and active engagement in the improvement of the health, environment, and financial well-being of Hispanic families throughout the United States. Working with and through strategic partnerships with faith and community organizations, HAF is dedicated to providing greater access to vital information and community resources to the U.S. Hispanic population to improve health and quality of life. For more information visit www.hispanicaccess.org.

About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's largest tax services provider, having prepared more than 600 million tax returns worldwide since 1955. In fiscal 2012, H&R Block had annual revenues of $2.9 billion and prepared 25.6 million tax returns worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided in company-owned and franchise retail tax offices by nearly 100,000 professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block At Home™ digital products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Online Press Center.

Contact: Robert Fanger Phone: 317-410-7668 E-mail: fangerpr@hispanicaccess.org

SOURCE Hispanic Access Foundation