OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - Tax experts across Oklahoma City are hoping to help Oklahomans who might qualify for a tax credit.
"I think taxes are always a little scary and mysterious to most people," said Andy Moore, Community Ambassador for OKC Tax Help.
That feeling of unknown is what prompted an effort to educate Oklahomans on the 'Earned Income Tax Credit' or EITC for short.
This effort is spearheaded by the folks at OKC Tax Help.
This federal tax credit is working for working adults and families that make less than $57,000 a year.
"If you don't know about it, you might not claim it," said Moore. "If you don't, then we just leave that money in Washington, D.C., when it could be here in your wallet being used for things that you need."
You could earn up to $6,000 back.
It's something he says 20% of eligible Oklahomans don't know about.
So two years ago, OKC Tax Help started this campaign, offering free EITC filing assistance.
Last year, they were able to increase the filing for the EITC by eight percent.
"Which doesn’t sound like much, but that translates to over $12 million of money that came back into our local economy, but specifically came back to the pockets of the Oklahomans who need it most,” said Moore.
They're also working to target our minority communities.
"In general trends, minority communities have lower adoption of some of this stuff," said Moore. "This isn’t just a tax credit for people who live in northwest Oklahoma City. This is a tax credit for everyone who has an earned income of $57,000 a year or less.”
So OKC Tax Help has partnered with locations around the metro to make it easier for folks to get assistance.
They set up valet sites where you can pull up, hand over your documents, and get the free help you need.
These are the valet sites open for help:
- The Diversion Hub (Central OKC)
- THN Insurance Solutions (Central OKC/Vietnamese Community)
- TEEM (Central OKC)
- Public Strategies (Downtown/Deep Deuce)
- Northcare (West OKC); potential expansion to MacArthur location
- ReStore OKC (NE OKC); 2nd and 4th Saturdays (March 27 and April 10)
- YMCA Lincoln Park Senior Center (NEOKC)
Thuan Ngyuen is the owner and CEO of THN Insurance.
He says they see a wide variety of clients, from single moms to elderly couples.
"If you have someone that speaks the language, and they trust and they know they can come to you and alleviate some of the barriers," said Ngyuen.
He says a lot of the clients they see don't know that the EITC exists.
"We tell them and they're shocked because they weren't aware that they had this all along," said Ngyuen.
All of this, an effort to get hard earned money, back into Oklahomans' hands, especially in a year when Oklahomans need help.
"It's really designed to help people who need the help the most," said Moore.
A reminder, the deadline to file has been pushed back to June 15th due to winter weather.
On Saturday, April 10th, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., they will host a valet free service tax event at ReStore.
It's located at 1220 NE 33rd Street.
For more help and information go to: https://okctaxhelp.org/