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OJC Press Release ID: 2522

Monday, May 23, 2016

OJC helps 230 local families receive $412,406 in tax refunds

During the 2016 tax season, Otero Junior College partnered with the Denver-based Piton Foundation to provide free tax preparation assistance to low- to moderate-income families through the Tax Help Colorado program. At OJC’s free tax site, IRS-certified students filed 230 returns, helping local tax payers claim $412,406 in refunds.

This year, five students from OJC spent 154 hours preparing and filing returns for individuals with household incomes of less than $53,000, helping to alleviate the burden of commercial tax preparation costs on low-wage earners.

Many of the tax payers who visit OJC’s free tax site are eligible for tax benefits for working families with children such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). One of the nation’s most successful anti-poverty tools, the EITC promotes employment while providing valuable refunds to minimum-wage earners who oftentimes struggle to make ends meet for their families.  For the first time in 15 years, low- to moderate-income workers can now also claim a state EITC, which is 10 % of the federal EITC. At OJC, working families claimed $138,244 in EITC refunds this year.

In 2016, 17 colleges and 10 high schools participating in Tax Help Colorado operated 26 free tax sites statewide. Overall, more than 9,300 individuals received free tax preparation services. Tax Help Colorado helped families claim more than $17.9 million in tax refunds in 2016, including nearly $6.8 million from the EITC. The program helped save low-income Coloradans more than $2.3 million in commercial tax preparation costs.

For more information on Tax Help Colorado, please visit Add social media info too.

About The Piton Foundation
The Piton Foundation, which is part of Gary Community Investments, is a private, operating foundation established in 1976 by Denver oilman Sam Gary.  We are committed to improving the lives of Colorado's low-income children and their families by increasing access to quality early childhood and youth development opportunities and fostering healthy family and community environments.

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