From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
March 20, 2010
Contact: Kathryn Freeman, 210-733-6604


(SAN ANTONIO, TX) — With tax-filing season on the horizon, State Legislators Leticia Van de Putte and Mike Villarreal and Councilman David Medina will remind last minute filers that Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free tax preparation on Saturday, March 20th at 11:00AM at the Bazan Public Library, 2200 West Commerce Street San Antonio, TX 78207.

During the 2009 tax filing season, VITA volunteers operated 32 VITA sites located throughout the city and completed more than 38,770 tax returns. More than $71,000,000 in refunds was returned to the San Antonio Community through local VITA locations. Most of these refunds were a part of the Earned Income Tax Credit - which can dramatically help a family; however, it is often overlooked by those who do not know how to apply for the credit.

"As the country goes through this recession, the Alamo City Coalition for Family Economic Self Sufficiency (ACCESS), through the VITA program is providing a way for working class families to get help with their income tax returns and expedite their refunds at no cost. What a great way to help our community," said Councilman David Medina Jr.

The lawmakers encouraged San Antonio families to claim expanded tax credits included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Under the ARRA, the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the College Expense Tax credit have all been expanded. For example, the Earned Income Tax Credit was increased a maximum of $5,657 to help qualifying working families who earn modest incomes.

"In this tough economic climate, when families need every single penny to put food on the table and keep the lights on, the Earned Income Tax Credit puts more money in the pockets of our struggling families. We must make sure that every eligible family is aware and getting the benefit of the EITC," said Senator Leticia Van de Putte.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the Earned Income Tax Credit can be the equivalent of a 40 percent increase in the annual salary for families who qualify. Last year, however, some 23 percent of taxpayers eligible for the credit did not claim it, amounting to an estimated $86 million in potential refunds that were not received.

"We need to make sure families take home all the money they earned, especially during these tough times. Tax refunds will boost the San Antonio economy and help families pay their bills, take care of their kids, and save for college," said Rep. Mike Villarreal.