Free Tax Help and Tax Software Aid Working Families in Getting the Returns They Deserve

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The Beehive will help as many as 8,000 households receive up to $10 million in refunds.

Taxes are complicated -- so complicated that an estimated 70 percent of working families receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) paid for professional help preparing and as many as 25 percent of families who qualified for the EITC did not receive it. One Economy, a global nonprofit that uses innovative technology to help people build better lives, today launched its 2008 online Tax Tools (http://www.theBeehive.org/taxes) to help families build financial literacy, understand tax preparation, and file for themselves.

"The Beehive's Tax Tool helps families get the refunds they deserve and returns millions of dollars to communities in need," said One Economy Chief Executive Officer Rey Ramsey. "The Beehive's information and resources arm families with the tools they need maximize their tax returns for free."

The Beehive, One Economy's consumer self-help web site, has offered free tax help since 2004. Last year, Beehive users received more than $5 million in refunds. For individual families, the average return can be as significant as an extra month's salary or a $2 per hour raise on a minimum wage income. This year, the Beehive expects to help as many as 8,000 households receive as much as $10 million in refunds.

In addition to free preparation and e-filing powered by H&R Block, the Tax Tool brings together easy-to-understand educational material that explains credits, helps reduce the frustration of tax preparation, and offers ideas on ways to save and spend your refund. Information and resources include:

  •     Free tax preparation and filing of federal and state taxes for households earning less $54,000 (70 percent of Americans) powered by H&R Block
  •     Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits
  •     Educational resources on avoiding scams and spending your return wisely
  •     Tips to get organized for tax time and decrease the frustration in tax preparation
  •     Contact information for community-based free tax help
  •     "Learn the Language" section explaining tax and financial terms
  •     Special instructions for immigrants and victims of the California wildfires

One Economy Corporation is a global nonprofit that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people, connecting them to valuable tools for building better lives and entering the economic mainstream. We help bring broadband into the homes of low-income people, employ youth to train their community members to use technology effectively, and create socially responsible media properties that offer a wealth of information on education, jobs, health care and other vital issues. Visit http://www.one-economy.com for more information.

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Austin Bonner
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