by WJ on Feb 20, 2015 at 10:08 AM

The Central Arkansas EITC Coalition held its annual “Super Saturday” Free Tax Filing Event on Saturday, February 1, 2015  at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds.

AARP volunteers served 100 Walk-Ins and 6 Appointments for a total of 106 (6 Latino and/or ESL filers). The CADC and ACO served 112 Appointments (11 Latino and/or ESL filers). Therefore, a total of 218 working individuals or families received free expert tax assistance, were able to electronically file their tax returns, and keep every penny of their refunds. In addition to the free tax filing assistance, the public was offered free credit reports, free legal assistance with tax issues, enrollment into the health care marketplace, discounted prescription plans, and enrollment in SNAP, among other services. Entergy of Arkansas was the corporate sponsor and provided door prizes and energy conservation kits for the home.

The theme of this year’s event was Surviving Domestic Violence. There are many ways in which survivors of domestic violence are impacted by the filing of taxes: filing jointly or separately, claiming dependents, establishing head of household, and many others. For the first time, survivors of domestic violence were identified and provided special considerations, such as a waiver of reporting healthcare costs through the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Of course, the perpetual theme of the event is expanded awareness of free tax filing sites and assistance, as well as greater public awareness of claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a fully refundable tax credit aimed at lifting working families out of poverty. More than $55 million is returned each year just to the working families of the City of Little Rock. Depending upon the size of family and income, EITC eligible tax filers could see as much as a $6,143 refund. The average EITC refund for the City of Little Rock is about $3,000. If each of those persons attending the Super Saturday event received $3,000 EITC, then $654,000 of EITC was returned to the local economy from this single event!

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by WJ on Feb 11, 2015 at 2:36 PM
Filed in News | Youth Services

The Little Rock YouthBuild Program is in its first week of classes that are taking place at the Little Rock Workforce Center. 17 young people age 18-24 began a “Week of Mental Toughness” from January 26-30, 2015. 14 successfully completed the course and were enrolled into the program, which is made possible through a $720,000 grant from the US Department of Labor. The purpose of the program is to provide young people an opportunity to attain a GED, earn recognized vocational certificates and licenses that will lead to employment, and build leadership and community service awareness as they grow in personal confidence through their newly acquired skills. In addition to the academic challenges in the program, participants are encouraged to pursue vocational training and licensing programs in the fields of certified nursing assistantship, weatherization technology, commercial truck driver training, highway construction training, and apprenticeships in the traditional construction trades. Participants receive incentives and wages as they learn their vocations. Partners with the LRWIB include the Little Rock School District Adult Education Program, ResCare Workforce Services, Habitat for Humanity of Pulaski & Lonoke Counties, Pulaski Technical College, MedLinc, C1 Trucking, Helping Hand CDC, her Arkansas Construction Education Foundation, UALR and The City of Little Rock, among others. For more information, please contact the YouthBuild Case Manager, Melissa Mitchell, at 501-320-3057.

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