Georgetown- U.S. Senator Tom Carper and partnering agencies in the Delaware Earned Income Tax Credit Collaborative kicked off the Tax Filing Season 2017 with an EITC Awareness Day held at First State Community Action Agency in Georgetown. Partner agencies including First State, Nehemiah Gateway CDC, United Way of Delaware and Stand By Me came together in an effort to make Delaware citizens aware of the Earned Income Tax Credit "EITC" and educate as many citizens as possible about the benefits of the EITC.
Senator Carper spearheaded the event, expressing the need for the earned income tax credit, a federal work incentive that rewards low-income individuals for work. He said EITC may be the “best anti-poverty program in America” because it encourages people to work and rewards work more than welfare. “It is our job as government to create jobs that people need; and people should be better off when they’re working than on welfare.”
Senator Carper also stressed the need of spreading awareness about EITC because far too many eligible taxpayers do not know about the credit and therefore don’t take advantage of it. “You can have a great benefit like EITC, but if no one knows about it, does it do any good?”
First State’s Bruce Wright, along with Stand By Me/United Way of Delaware’s John Moore, and Nehemiah Gateway’s Maisha Thoms and Rev. Clifford Johnson (Founder) provided comments on the agencies’ role in providing important tax preparation and financial services—checking accounts, savings accounts and bonds, budgeting information, financial counseling, health insurance options—to citizens throughout the state. Bruce
Wright spoke on First State’s role in providing tax preparation and financial education to people of low and moderate incomes in Kent and Sussex Counties. In the 14 years First State has partnered with Nehemiah Gateway, the agency went from filing less than 500 federal and state tax returns during the tax season to more than 1,900 returns filed in 2016. “Our hope is that families receive all credit eligible to them and avoid exorbitant fees for simple service.”
EITC tax client and volunteer, Tanisha Showell of Georgetown shared how the EITC credit has helped her family of six. Showell and her husband work multiple jobs to support their four children, all honor roll students. She stated how the income they make oftentimes is not enough to cover the bills, buy necessities, or take a family vacation. Showell, who considered herself financially conservative, praised the earned income tax credit and saying “EITC gave us a chance to breathe and pay up on bills…. It [EITC] allows us to create memories with our families.”
“It matters a lot.”
Click here for more information on tax preparation services and sites