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United Financial Empowerment Partnership
Building economic security and self-sufficiency
This project is being designed to maximize EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) returns in Mercer County, and to work with families to save their tax returns and build their family assets so that they achieve economic stability and self-sufficiency. Initial plans include evaluation of the Mercer County EITC population assessing their financial status (e.g., current access to credit, existence of a family budget) and current asset level (e.g., existing checking and savings accounts, home ownership). This will facilitate program development and help to maximize EITC returns in Mercer County.
The next step after maximizing EITC returns is to develop an asset-building program with appropriate community partners and implement an evaluation plan that will monitor client progress over time to ensure self-sufficiency.
• Year one, 2012, is devoted to the assessment of EITC families.
UFEP prepared 1,063 EITC tax returns in 2012, bringing back $1.52 million into the county. The average tax return was $1,431.00. The economic multiplier for EITC is estimated at 4.33. This translates to a total economic impact of $6.6 million.
• Year two, 2013, maximizing EITC and begin the asset-building program.
• Year three, 2014, extending EITC access to communities and asset building program.
Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness
• UFEP prepares returns for free. The average cost for a preparer is $150 per return resulting in a savings of $213,450
• UFEP prepared 1,423 EITC tax returns in 2013, bringing back $2.09 million into the county. The average tax return was $1,467.00
• The economic multiplier for EITC is estimated at 4.33. This translates to a total economic impact of $9.039 million