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SAN DIEGO (CNS) –  The San Diego County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition Monday announced the return of a total of $28,034,865 to local individuals and families through federal and state tax refunds.

The coalition, along with 211 San Diego and United Way of San Diego County, completed 29,876 tax returns, which allowed 3,896 filers to claim a total of $6,945,963 from the federal EITC, 5,062 filers to claim a total of $998,857 from the CalEITC, and 3,236 filers to collectively collect $6,416,316 via the Young Child Tax Credit.

“Federal and state tax credits can provide much needed financial relief to families still struggling due to COVID-19 or just beginning to recover,” said William York, president and CEO of 211 San Diego, an organization that connects residents with various public resources.

“Thankfully, new and existing tax credits and cash back payments are available to more San Diegans than ever before, but many may not know if they are eligible or how to claim them,” he said.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is intended to help low- to moderate-income workers and families reduce the taxes they owe or increase their refund so they can put more money toward rent, school tuition, utilities, groceries and other important expenses. Combined with the state CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit, taxpayers can receive hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars back on their taxes.

“Helping San Diegans claim federal and state tax credits they deserve is an important step toward addressing the economic inequality exacerbated by COVID-19,” said Nancy L. Sasaki, president and CEO of United Way of San Diego County.

“Financial security is crucial to ending the deep disparities that exist in our communities and aligns with our commitment to address family stability throughout San Diego County,” she said. “We are proud to have been leading the San Diego EITC Coalition for the past 18+ years to achieve its mission to provide critical tax assistance services that help put local families on the path to stability.”

This year, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature expanded the CalEITC and YCTC to all California tax filers, including undocumented Individual Taxpayer Identification Number filers who meet the other eligibility criteria. The state also announced the new Golden State Stimulus, in which one- time cash payments are available to 2019 CalEITC recipients and ITIN filers this year who meet other eligibility criteria.

Taxpayers can claim the EITC up to three years back if they are eligible, but did not originally claim the credit; the Golden State Stimulus is available to qualifying taxpayers who file before Oct. 15.

“The California Earned Income Tax Credit is an act of social and economic justice all in one,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego. “Since its inception, nearly 1 million working Californians — including members of our military — have received the CalEITC tax credit, totaling $194 million. The financial crisis caused by the pandemic makes it even more important for people to get this additional cash into their wallets and back into our economy.”

The EITC Coalition is a body of organizations and service providers that provide tax assistance to families. The coalition is anchored by a partnership among 211 San Diego, United Way of San Diego County, the IRS and the County of San Diego.

Individuals and families can call 2-1-1 to see if they qualify for the federal EITC, CalEITC, YCTC and Golden State Stimulus. Those eligible for free tax preparation can schedule an appointment through 211’s Community Connectors.

For more information about available tax credits, or call 2-1-1.

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