February 7, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC--Every year, millions of dollars go unclaimed by 15% to 25% of qualified Americans who fail to file for their federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides a tax refund-up to $4,500 for parents with children-to working Americans with low- to moderate-incomes.
To help more people take advantage of this valuable resource, the Legal Services Corporation awarded Technology Initiative Grants to help fund I-CAN! E-File, a website developed by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County that allows all low-income Americans-regardless of where they live-to file their federal taxes online and apply for the EITC, easily and for free. The website, www.icanefile.org, asks questions in English or Spanish and then prepares and electronically files the user's tax forms, including their EITC application. Residents of California, Michigan, New York, and Montana, as well as residents of states that do not require a state tax form, can also use the website to file their state tax returns.
Last year, 2,658 people used the website to prepare and submit their 2005 federal tax returns, and received $4,233,127 in Earned Income Tax Credits alone. This year, nearly 3,000 people have already used the website to file their 2006 returns, and have received more than $2.5 million in EITCs, a dramatic increase in usage from last year.
Created by Congress in 1974, LSC's mission is to promote equal access to justice in our Nation and to provide high quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons. LSC currently funds 138 independent local legal aid programs around the nation. Its 11-member Board of Directors is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. For more information, please visit www.lsc.gov.
About LSC's Technology Initiative Grant Program
LSC's Technology Initiative Grant Program funds innovative technology projects that increase the availability and quality of legal assistance provided to the poor. For more information, please visit www.tig.lsc.gov.