February 06, 2014
LAWT News Service
Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome E. Horton, reported that 1.2 Billion Dollars in federal tax refunds and $180 million in state income taxes go unclaimed by California taxpayers every year. Fremont High School welcomed Horton, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, State Controller John Chiang, City Councilmember Curren Price Jr., Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Gary Toebben and other business leaders in declaring a united front against poverty in Los Angeles County, which now afflicts 2.6 million residents or 27% of the county’s population. “Over 350 tax experts have been trained and certified to help California taxpayers file their tax returns for free,” Horton said, “with a goal of helping taxpayers increase their refunds.”
Board of Equalization employees helped over 60 residents file their tax returns for free. Qualified taxpayers who earn less than $51,000 a year applied for up to $6,044 in earned income tax credits; significantly increasing their state and federal income tax refund. Joined by the Franchise Tax Board, Internal Revenue, and several state agencies, a broad range of family services were also made available, including financial literacy training, job preparation assistance, food and nutrition services, low-cost and free medical services, and health screenings, to name only a few.
“Under any other circumstances I would not be as excited about being in a room with the IRS but in this case I’m getting money from them,” said Alex Martinez one of the residents benefiting from the free services.
The Board of Equalization’s 4th District, which includes most of Los Angeles County, will conduct several more free tax preparation assistance workshops and offer family programs (until the end of the tax filing season.)
For more information, visit the Board of Equalization website, boe.ca.gov.