Free Online Tax Preparation and Filing Will Return Millions of Dollars to Working Families Around the Country

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Thousand of families will file their state and federal taxes through the Beehive (http://www.thebeehive.org/freetaxes).

When families access these free tool and resources, they gain the confidence file online for themselves and maximize their returns.

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 technology to help people build better lives, today launched its 2009 online tax campaign (http://www.theBeehive.org/freetaxes) to help families build financial literacy, understand tax preparation, and file for themselves.

The Beehive, One Economy's award-winning self-help website, has offered free tax help since 2004. Last year, Beehive users received more than $10 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 $56,000 (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
  • Do your own taxes and receive 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•

"The Beehive's Tax Tool will provide millions of dollars to communities in need and help families struggling in today's economy to get the refunds they deserve," said Rey Ramsey. "When families access these free tool and resources, they gain the confidence file online for themselves and maximize their returns."

In addition to this online effort, One Economy has partnered with the Wal-Mart Foundation and United Way to bring tax filing assistance directly into communities. The Foundation's $3.6 million grant will launch the first-ever free mobile tax filing tour funded by a national retailer and fund more than 90 United Way-supported Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) campaigns. Mobile Tax Center vans equipped with One Economy's online tax filing technology and IRS-certified tax professionals will set-up in Wal-Mart parking lots or at the offices of One Economy's community partners for two to three weeks at a time between February 10 and April 11. Visit http://www.myfreetaxes.com for van locations.

About One Economy
One Economy Corporation is a global nonprofit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people. More than 15 million people have used One Economy's online tools and resources to build better lives. Learn more at http://www.one-economy.com.

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Austin Bonner
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