United Way Erie FREE Taxes (EFT) is an IRS-supervised program that provides free tax preparation service to eligible individuals and families in a variety of Erie County locations. Through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), Erie FREE Taxes provides free tax preparation service to Erie County tax filers and ensures that every eligible filer claims the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC, one of our county’s most effective anti-poverty tools, has lifted more than 10 million adults and children above the poverty line. It provides a cash credit that boosts incomes of low-to-moderate income workers, helping them meet their basic needs. For those who receive the credit, it may enable them to save for emergencies, pay down debt, or put a down payment on a home.
Since 2007, Erie FREE Taxes Program has demonstrated strength as a family and community economic development tool. As of 2021, the overall program value of EFT is $136 million.
Erie FREE Taxes By The Numbers:
Program Value for Tax Year 2021: $12.1 million
Total Program Value Since 2007: $136.4 million
Federal Refunds for Tax Year 2021: $10.6 million
Total Federal Refunds Since 2007: $119 million
Filer Savings for Tax Year 2021: $1.5 million
Total Filer Savings Since 2007: $17.9 million
By providing free tax preparation and access to the Earned Income Tax Credit, United Way Erie FREE Taxes has assisted thousands of Erie County residents to become more financially stable and to begin a path towards self-sufficiency. The program is a key example of United Way of Erie County living its mission, to Crush Poverty, and to increase the well-being of Erie County families and neighborhoods.