Free Income Tax Assistance Program

An Effective Practice

Description

In Tulsa Oklahoma, the Community Action Project of Tulsa County (CAP) coordinates the largest free income tax assistance program in the country, assisting income eligible residents in the Tulsa area file for the EITC. During tax season (January to April 15), CAP's free tax assistance is provided by appointment at several locations throughout Tulsa County. Since 1996 a branch office of the Bank of Oklahoma has participated as one of 6 citywide tax preparation sites operated by the CAP. In partnership with the bank and Tulsa Credit Union, the CAP offers clients an opportunity to open accounts for direct deposit and to cash refund checks for a minimal 1 percent charge. Clients can also open Individual Development Accounts which are matched dollar for dollar for up to $750 per year, and two dollars for every dollar when set aside for home ownership. In 2001 the bank began offering coupons to clients who do not have accounts, allowing them to cash their tax refund for a fee of $2.00, thus avoiding higher fees charged by commercial check cashing businesses.

Goal / Mission

The goal of CAP's program is to decrease poverty and to expand economic development in Tulsa by increasing the participation rate and use of the EITC by eligible low- and moderate-income families.

Results / Accomplishments

Since its inception in 1995, the CAP has experienced a growth of 1005% in the number of clients served. With assistance from the Internal Revenue Vita program, the CAP EITC Program prepared over 12,500 returns during the 2002 tax season. In 2002 the CAP EITC program brought almost $14 million back to into the local economy.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Pam Smith
Community Action Project of Tulsa County
4606 South Garnett, Suite 100
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74146
(918) 382-3200
http://www.captc.org/
Categories
Economy / Income
Economy / Investment & Personal Finance
Economy / Government Assistance Programs
Organization(s)
Community Action Project of Tulsa County (CAP)
Source
Finance Project
Date of publication
Apr 2003
Location
Tulsa, OK
For more details
http://www.financeproject.org/Publications/anupdat...