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Tax Help Colorado Helps 9,300 Coloradans Claim $18 Million

During the 2016 tax season, The Piton Foundation helped Colorado low-income families increase their financial security through the Tax Credits for Working Families Public Information Campaign and Tax Help Colorado program. This year, we focused on ensuring that Coloradans were aware of--and claiming--the Colorado state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which was available to families for the first time in 15 years.

To help raise awareness about the federal and state EITC, we partnered with more than 650 community partners to distribute more than a million pieces of educational materials across the state through our Tax Credits for Working Families Public Information Campaign. New this year was a supplemental flier with additional information about the EITC and health coverage at tax time, allowing us to increase awareness about these important messages throughout the state. Additionally, we welcomed new community partners, including the Nurse Home Visitor program, who distributed nearly 8,000 fliers directly to first-time, low-income mothers. Thank you to all the community partners who worked with us this year!

And, in an effort to link even more families to the EITC, we partnered with the Colorado Community College System to operate the Tax Help Colorado program, which provides free tax preparation assistance to individuals and families with household incomes less than about $53,000. This year, 19 participating colleges and 10 high schools operated 27 free tax sites across the state where IRS-certified students served as volunteer tax preparers. These free tax sites helped more than 9,300 individuals and families claim nearly $18 million in tax refunds in 2016, including $6.2 million in federal EITC refunds and $622,000 in state EITC refunds. In addition, the program helped save low-income Coloradans more than $2.5 million in commercial tax preparation costs.

Thank you to all of the community partners who helped with our EITC outreach campaign and the students and volunteers who made the Tax Help Colorado program possible.