Beginning in January, LIFT-Philadelphia will offer free tax preparation services to low-income individuals and families at its sites in North Philadelphia and West Philadelphia. Trained tax advocates will assist clients with preparing and submitting tax returns online, in addition to identifying eligibility for valuable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
The sites operate in partnership with The Benefit Bank (www.thebenefitbank.com). Tax services are by appointment only; interested Philadelphia community members may contact LIFT-Philadelphia’s North Office at (215) 765-3430 or LIFT-Philadelphia’s West Office at (215) 474-1807 to schedule an appointment. Extended hours will be offered in March and April for individuals who cannot visit the office during normal business hours. Additional 5:00pm and 6:30pm tax slots will be available for approximately six weeks.
Clients filing taxes with paid preparers can often spend as much as 20 percent of their refunds on fees or if they prepare their taxes independently, may receive a much smaller refund. The refunds and credits obtained with LIFT-Philadelphia’s assistance place money directly into the pockets of struggling families, which converts to better economic and social health of local communities.
In addition to giving people a significant economic boost, LIFT’s tax advocates gain experience in preparing taxes, understanding tax code, and strengthening their financial literacy.