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WE Connect Helps Californians Claim Underused Tax Credits With WEb Connector EZ
Apr 06, 2011 (03:04 PM EDT)


New Online Tool Helps Individuals and Families Determine EITC Eligibility

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the final days of tax filing season, California families were introduced to a new online calculator that can help them easily determine if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal tax credit that can boost an individual's or family's federal refund by as much as $5,666.  The WEb Connector EZ asks four questions and within minutes lets taxpayers know whether they are eligible for the EITC.  When taxpayers finish using the WEb Connector EZ, they can enter their zip code to locate online and onsite free tax assistance programs available from the IRS and community agencies.

"As we approach the tax filing deadline, it is more important than ever to inform as many individuals about the Earned Income Tax Credit," said Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. "Each year, a billion dollars in EITC refunds are left unclaimed by Californians. During these challenging economic times, the EITC can put more money in the pockets of thousands of working families that can help improve their living conditions, buy food and pay off bills, while also strengthening our economy."

WE Connect is a program that empowers low-income families to lead healthier and more financially secure lives by connecting them to resources such as the EITC, California's Healthy Families Program and CalFresh. WE Connect, founded by former California First Lady Maria Shriver, and now run by The California Endowment, has successfully helped millions of Californians through its community events, web-based tools, public-private partnerships, and publications.

The WEb Connector EZ was created by Intuit Inc., makers of TurboTax, Mint.com, Quicken and QuickBooks. "Intuit is committed to improving people's financial lives," said Brad Smith, president and CEO of Intuit. "Learning about tax credits and deductions like EITC puts people in charge of their finances and ultimately can put more money in their pockets. We are proud and humbled by this opportunity to empower our fellow Californians."  A link to the WEb Connector EZ can be found here: http://www.weconnect.net/index.php/public/home/page/290).

The WEb Connector EZ is just one of the many money-saving programs and services available through the WE Connect campaign. WE Connect recently began distributing the 2011 WE Connect Bilingual Supplement, the state's most comprehensive bilingual source for low-income families about important money-saving public and private programs. 1.5 million WE Connect Supplements have been distributed to La Opinion subscribers in addition to thousands of WE Connect partner organizations statewide. The supplement features important information about the new federal health care law – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the many benefits it provides families, such as new coverage options and tax credits.

"WE Connect is committed to making it as easy as possible for families struggling during this economic downturn to connect with money-saving programs and services that help bring economic security into the household," said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment. "It's important we help get the word out about these programs so that families can take advantage of them."

In the coming year, The California Endowment, in partnership with Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and partner organizations across the state, will continue to explore creative ways to continue the work of WE Connect and develop ties with its statewide health-related initiatives.  

For more information about the WE Connect program, please visit www.weconnect.net.

Public Service Announcements by Lieutenant Governor Newsom about the WEb Connector EZ are available here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqXayn7Y7dY  (60 seconds)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBoUutVv2Ns (30 seconds)

SOURCE WE Connect