Free Tax Prep

Leading the Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition to Help People Get Tax Refunds

Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition

United Way continues to lead the San Diego Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition, offering free tax preparation to local families and individuals with low to moderate income.

In 2019, the Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition helped 33,770 San Diego County households file their taxes for free. Collectively, these households received over $47 million in federal and state refunds, including 8,720 households who received over $15 million in federal EITC.

What Is the Earned Income Credit?

The Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), both the federal EITC and state CalEITC, are tax credits for low- to moderate-income working families and individuals. EITC can help you reduce your tax liability and, in many cases, put money in your pocket.

To qualify for the EITC, you must have worked during at least part of the previous year, meet certain income requirements, and file your taxes. You must file your taxes to receive the EITC, even if you did not earn enough money to be required to file. The EITC benefit is retroactive for three years, so review whether you filed for the EITC in recent years. If you meet the eligibility requirements and have not filed for the previous three years you may be entitled to an even larger refund check!

File Online or Schedule an Appointment

Free tax preparation is available in San Diego County to most low and moderate income households*.

Households* earning approximately $56,000 or less in 2019 qualify to file their taxes with a certified tax preparer. Call 2-1-1 or log onto to see if you qualify and make an appointment at a site near you. Tax preparation is available in multiple languages and throughout San Diego County.

*A household includes all individuals listed on your tax return

What to Bring:

  • Valid Photo ID
  • Social Security Card or ITIN for yourself and your dependents
  • Income documents, including W2s or 1099s
  • Bank account information for direct deposit
  • School tuition or student loan interest statements
  • Dates and Proof of health coverage for self and dependents
  • Proof of Health Insurance (Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C)

Other Services:

In addition to tax preparation, several sites offer other services such as screening for CalFresh, child care, utility bill and other benefits; nutritional activities; Affordable Care Act enrollment information; and opportunities to enroll in financial education classes. Ask your tax preparer for further details.

Will this Affect my Government Benefits?

Participation in free tax preparation or any other additional services will not impact CalWORKS, CalFRESH, or Medi-Cal benefits.

File Online or Schedule an Appointment