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Thousands of Home Care Workers to Receive Free Tax Help Through PHI Campaign

January 29, 2016

Thousands of New York City home care workers will be able to take full advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) thanks to a PHI initiative that is currently underway at three local organizations.

The EITC Sectoral Access campaign, now entering its second year, is designed to promote awareness of the EITC among low-income home care workers.

Nationally, EITC recipients are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $6,269 for the 2016 tax year, depending on the number of children they have. New York City recipients can also receive credits from the city and from New York State, bringing their total credit potentially as high as $8,462.

PHI’s outreach campaign is focused on three New York City organizations:

  • Cooperative Home Care Associates, a PHI affiliate,
  • Sunnyside Community Services, and
  • Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA).

Every year, low-wage workers leave thousands of dollars on the table because they simply do not know that the EITC exists. PHI survey data shows that only 66 percent of home care workers polled at these agencies availed themselves of the EITC, a percentage that is below the national average.

To improve that rate, the EITC Sectoral Access campaign has begun distributing educational material to home care staff at the three organizations involved. It has also trained supervisory staff to discuss the EITC with home care workers.

Additionally, Urban UpBound, a nonprofit organization and an IRS-certified provider of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), will provide free, on-site tax preparations at all three sites.

Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, a New York City-based community development financial institution, is also providing free financial literacy coaching services to interested home care workers.

More information about the federal EITC is available at the IRS website.

— by Matthew Ozga

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