Over the next two months, the Center for Economic Progress (CEP) will help nearly 20,000 Illinoisans file their taxes. CEP is currently running 15 free Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (VITA) sites in Chicago, the suburbs, and Springfield, where hundreds of trained volunteers help people complete their tax return and claim vital tax credits.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are critical federal tax credits for working families, and they were expanded permanently last year. In 2012, the EITC put approximately $2.5 billion dollars back into the Illinois economy. On top of the federal tax credits, hard working families can also claim Illinois state EITC. CEP plays a big role helping Illinois families access these tax credits.
As of mid-February, CEP has already completed nearly 5,000 tax returns, and helped bring more than $10.5 million back into the pockets of low-income workers.
Want to know more about their tax prep sites?
Outside of Chicago?
You can find a free tax prep site near you here.
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CEP’s Financial Coaching: The Progress Program
CEP’s work doesn’t end when the tax season wraps up. They help their clients become and stay financially secure year-round. CEP is launching their fourth cycle of their Progress Program, a free 3-month financial coaching program that helps clients achieve personalized financial goals. The program includes biweekly meetings with a volunteer financial coach, and offers a chance to win over $1,000 in prizes for people who achieve their savings and/or debt reduction goals.
Last year, 59 participants graduated from the program. They saved a total of $14,522 and reduced their debt by $18,083.
Volunteer with CEP
Learn more about the Center for Economic Progress and their work.