San Diego County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition Reports Nearly $50 Million in Tax Refunds for Almost 34,000 Low-Income San Diegans, a Record High for Region


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Suzy Garcia / Ann Marie Price

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United Way of San Diego County Leads Coalition Guiding Eligible Families Toward Anti-Poverty Tax Benefits, Provides Filing Assistance


SAN DIEGO (Nov. 5, 2019) – One unique initiative is helping low to moderate San Diego families maximize their tax refunds. Led by United Way of San Diego County, the San Diego County Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition reported in a recent press conference that 33,770 households received free tax preparation assistance. Collectively, these households received over $47 million in federal and state refunds, including 8,720 households who received over $15 million in federal EITC. The Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition was created to provide a clear pathway toward tax assistance for families in our community. The EITC Coalition keeps more money in the pockets for low-income San Diegans to help them afford the necessities they need.

“San Diego families are often eligible to earn thousands of dollars back in tax refunds, but tax laws are complicated, and they don’t know where to start nor do they have the resources to hire a tax professional,” said United Way of San Diego County President and CEO Nancy Sasaki. “The Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition believes hardworking households that live paycheck-to-paycheck should have access to financial support. Resources leveraged by the Coalition provided 650 volunteers, who offered free tax preparation services across 54 sites to help local community members save approximately $9.2 million in tax preparation fees.”

The San Diego County EITC Coalition is anchored by a partnership with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Integrative Services Division and the IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communications office. The local coalition is made up of 20 local partners, and together, these organizations implement critical and complimentary services, including Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Facilitated Self-Assistance (FSA) and referral services that help low- and moderate-income San Diego families prepare their taxes.

“These results would not be possible without the hard work of the EITC Coalition’s partner organizations and dedicated volunteers over the past 17 tax seasons. Together, we will continue to create a clear conduit for San Diegans to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the nation’s most powerful anti-poverty programs to ensure continued stability for the families we serve,” said Sasaki.

The Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition includes 2-1-1 San Diego, Alliance for African Assistance, AARP, Building Skills Partnership, Council of Philippine American Organizations, County of San Diego, Dreams for Change, Home Start, Interfaith Community Services, International Rescue Committee, Internal Revenue Service, Legal Aid Society of San Diego, MAAC, North County Lifeline, San Diego Housing Commission, South Bay Community Services, San Diego City College, San Diego State University, Thomas Jefferson School of Law and United Way of San Diego County.

To learn about next season’s free tax preparation services, call 2-1-1 San Diego or visit


For 99 years, United Way of San Diego County has aligned with partners to address inequities in the region and help underserved communities. United Way’s specialty lies in identifying sustainable, long-term goals and achieving them through leveraging data and partners’ expertise to better understand root causes and putting impactful solutions into action.

United Way’s work, in partnership with others, uses shared goals, innovation and proven practices to transform the lives of children, young adults and families in the San Diego region. United Way focuses on educational milestones, such as kindergarten readiness, third-grade literacy, high school preparation, and college and career pathways. Learn more and get involved by visiting, Facebook, Twitter, or by calling (858) 492-2000.