Thanks in part to the combined efforts of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, SUNY Oswego’ Honors Accounting Society and the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) more than 300 tax returns in Oswego County were filed utilizing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program.
The EITC program, a Federally funded, anti-poverty initiative, helps working people maintain their independence from the welfare system and increase their financial stability.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The program reduces taxes for workers, supplements wages, and makes work more attractive than welfare.
While the program has been in existence for several years, according to Melanie Trexler, Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, many families were unaware of the benefits that the EITC program had to offer.
“We made a concerted effort to spread the word and educate people about the EITC program and how they could access the program.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It’s a wonderful program that not only benefits working families with children, it also reduces demand for public service and benefit programs, and helps our local economy as well,” said Trexler.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â “We realized that the EITC program had the potential to provide seniors and low-income families with some much needed extra money that can make a real difference in their quality of life.”
The United Way partnered with RSVP, and SUNY Oswego’s Honors Accounting Society along with AmeriCorps, and the Department of Social Services, to raise awareness of the EITC program in Oswego County and see that those eligible received the full benefits that the program offers and free tax preparation is necessary.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â As a result SUNY Oswego’s Honors Accounting Society prepared more than 300 free tax returns and generated more than $303,000 in tax returns for families and individuals throughout Oswego County.
“We were thrilled with the results,” said Trexler.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â “Our efforts proved to be very successful in accomplishing our goal of educating people about the EITC program, improving their financial literacy, and helping our local economy by making sure that people received the tax returns that they deserve.”