A non-profit program benefits the citizens of Santa Cruz County by applying for tax breaks. Last year, the Community Bridges program assisted over 100 people in obtaining nearly $500,000 in tax advantages. It helped with state and federal earned income tax credits as well as child and elder income tax credits.
Since December 2021, the Community Bridges program has assisted 61 people and families in renewing or obtaining new. The organization’s four Family Resource Collective locations have provided roughly $122,000 in IRS benefits, and almost 97 participants successfully applied for state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits with a total of $232,800 in benefits.
The program is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz.
The Community Bridges program helps eligible residents obtain and prepare paperwork to receive their ID numbers through a paid contractor. Those who do not have a Social Security number and are not qualified to receive one can simply apply for and obtain a taxpayer ID. The project assists neighborhood residents in navigating public benefit programs such as MediCal insurance and CalFresh.
This tax season, Community Bridges claims it has received over 400 calls to their taxpayer helpline and scheduled 167 appointments. Around 840,000 Californians, including 376,000 children, are being helped out of poverty through earned income tax credits.