Boston – Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Michael K. Durkin, CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, today joined partner organizations and volunteers to celebrate the launch of this year’s Boston Tax Help season at the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment. The event, which coincides with National Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, marks the opening of 35 free neighborhood tax preparation sites across Boston.
The Boston Tax Help Coalition was founded in 2001, and has served over 150,000 households with free tax preparation over the last 15 years. Thanks to the Coalition’s efforts, an estimated $215 million in tax credits and refunds have gone back into the pockets of Boston residents. The Coalition hopes to serve more than 13,500 families and return over $23 million to hardworking residents this tax season.
In addition to providing low- to -moderate income residents with free tax preparation in seven languages besides English. Boston Tax Help sites will also offer taxpayers several asset-building services in line with Mayor Walsh’s financial empowerment agenda. Many of the sites will provide taxpayers with the opportunity to open a savings account, allowing participants in the program to directly deposit a portion of their refunds into savings. The Coalition will also offer on-site credit advising services.
A full listing of Boston Tax Help sites is available online so residents can find a location near home or work.
Mayor Walsh and the Office of Workforce Development advocated for an increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit last year, and in August Governor Baker signed a bill to extend the maximum state credit from $951 to $1,459 for eligible residents. The change is expected to benefit over 400,000 working individuals and families in Massachusetts, including up to 75,000 in Boston alone.
The Boston Tax Help Coalition is a signature program of the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment, part of the Office of Workforce Development, which is an affiliate of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
In 2014, United Way partnered with LISC Boston and the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment to open the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment. Last spring, a second Financial Opportunity Center opened through this partnership at JVS Boston in Downtown Crossing. Learn more about these centers here.