Earn It! Keep It! Save It! (EKS) is a coalition of Bay Area organizations that provides free tax preparation to households earning less than $54,000 a year. We know the benefits of free tax preparation and tax refunds on taxpayers and their households.

These benefits include:

Free tax help – paying to have your taxes prepared can cost $200 to $300. Households in the Bay Area earning less than $54,000 cannot afford to pay!

Awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – many taxpayers do not know about the EITC and that it is a refundable tax credit that can be up to $6,143 for a family with three qualifying children.

Refund Anticipation Loans – when residents get an “instant refund” from a commercial preparer, they are taking a loan out on their own money usually paying 300% interest. With direct deposit an EKS site can e-file your tax return and have your refund deposited into your bank account in 7 to 10 days.

In addition to these crucial benefits, tax refunds have a long life in our communities.
In fact, the tax refunds returned to low income households is spent locally and multiplies. From 2003-2010, Earn It! Keep It! Save It! created $228.5 million in local sales, 1,057 jobs and $55 million in wages. This gives our local economy a boost year after year!

Read the full report here (PDF).