Journal Article

Free Tax Assistance and the Earned Income Tax Credit: Vital Resources for Social Workers and Low-Income Families

Younghee Lim, Tara V. DeJohn and Drew Murray

in Social Work

Published on behalf of National Association of Social Workers

Volume 57, issue 2, pages 175-184
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0037-8046
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1545-6846 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sw/sws035
Free Tax Assistance and the Earned Income Tax Credit: Vital Resources for Social Workers and Low-Income Families

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As the United States' economy continues to experience challenges, more families at or near the poverty level fall prey to predatory financial practices. Their vulnerability to these operations is increased by a lack of knowledge of asset-building resources and alternative financial services. This article focuses on Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)—a free income tax preparation program, which is a vital resource available to low-income families. Unfortunately, VITA is largely underused and often unknown to economically strained families and to the social workers and other professionals to whom these families turn for assistance. This article concludes with policy and practice implications for social workers and other professionals engaged in providing services to financially vulnerable families.

Keywords: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); financial resources; low-income families; Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Journal Article.  6200 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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