The City of Irvine has partnered with the Orange County United Way (OCUW) to provide free tax preparation service for qualifying taxpayers who live, work, or attend school in Irvine and earned less than $60,000 in 2020 according to a press release from the City of Irvine. There will be IRS-trained volunteers to help file taxes and apply for tax credits like the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Location of Irvine’s Free Tax-Preparation Services
Dates and Times
February 10th through April 7th, 2021 between 12pm – 7pm. An appointment is required and no walk-ins will be accepted.
How to schedule an appointment
Call The Orange County United Way at 888-434-8248 to schedule an appointment.
Free Help Online
If eligible you can also file your taxes online at OCFreeTaxPrep.com with or without assistance.
Who can this help?
Even if you do not qualify for the free help you might know someone that would benefit from this service. According to this article on The Hill, many middle and low-income people miss out on tax credits that they might otherwise be entitled to just because they were not aware that they qualified. Professional help can ensure that they get all of the credits they are entitled to. Perhaps you know a college student or friend that would benefit. Please feel free to forward this information to them.
Homeownership and Tax Benefits
There are tax benefits to owning a home. Mortgage interest is generally tax-deductible and as your home appreciates, the capital gain may be tax-free as well in many circumstances. A single person owning and occupying their home for 2 out of the aggregate of 5 years is generally exempt on $250,000 of gain. A married couple would generally be exempt from $500,000 of gain and pay no tax (consult your tax advisor).
Your Tax Refund Might Be Your Key to Home Ownership
As I detailed in my blog in 2019 you are paying for a home whether you own or rent, so instead of lining your landlord’s pockets, you might as well be gaining your own wealth in real estate. If you are expecting a tax refund this year you might be that much closer to a down payment on a home. Many people are surprised to know that you do not need 20% down to buy a home.
If you qualify for free assistance take advantage of it so you can maximize your tax refund. From a financial standpoint, owning a home has always been and will always be better than renting. Let’s connect to talk about how I might be able to help you buy your first home.