This Saturday, April 7 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., United Way of Santa Barbara County and partner organizations are providing free tax preparation for the community on “Mega Tax Day.”

Trained, experienced local VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) volunteers will provide free tax preparation and E-filing services. The events will also include local financial literacy referrals and resources including assistance with retirement and college savings (“529”) plans, special offers on savings and checking accounts, prizes and support from a large group of local nonprofits and businesses involved in the Financial Empowerment Partnership.

The bilingual staff will provide services for qualifying families and individuals with 2011 incomes under $50,000, helping people take advantage of tax benefits and refunds they are eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child and Dependent Care Credit, Making Work Pay Credit and higher education tax credits, among others.

In 2011, $4.1 million in tax refunds was returned to local families and approximately 2,100 tax returns were prepared and filed through United Way of Santa Barbara County, its VITA partners and the first ever Mega Tax Day held last April. This tax season United Way has expanded its Mega Tax Day locations to more conveniently serve eligible individuals and families in Isla Vista and Carpinteria.

  • April 7, 2012 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Mega Tax Day & Resource Fair
  • United Way of Santa Barbara County, 320 E. Gutierrez St.
  • Free Basic Tax Return Preparation & E-Filing with an income under $50,000 in 2011 ( Form 1040-EZ, Form 1040, and Form 1040-A)
  • Taxes will be prepared on a first come, first served basis and limited by the number of volunteers available.
  • Please come prepared with: Social Security card or ITIN no., W-2 forms, 1099 if applicable, childcare provider information (name, address, tax number), picture I.D., and bank routing/account number for direct deposit of refund.

The Financial Empowerment Partnership, led by United Way of Santa Barbara County, is a community collaborative with 17 program partners from local education, nonprofit and banking sectors. The initiative began as a way to provide low-income residents the necessary resources to become financially stable. The vision of the partnership is to empower lower-income families to increase their long-term assets. United Way saw an opportunity to help unite the separate organizations who can now work together to help individuals and families toward long term financial success. In addition to VITA, the partnership also provides Financial Literacy workshops. These three-part series workshop cover topics including budget, savings, and credit/debt. The first workshops were held in January and February, led by Montecito Bank and Trust.

Supporting Partners include: AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, Community West Bank, Dos Pueblos High School, Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, the IRS, Montecito Bank & Trust, Primerica, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, and Santa Barbara High School Dons Net Café; and Referral Partners include: Isla Vista Youth Projects, Family Service Agency (211), Carpinteria Children’s Project at Main School, Carpinteria Middle School, American Indian Health & Services, PUEBLO, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, Community Action Commission (CAC), St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, Salvation Army, and Mercy Housing/St. Vincent’s.

About United Way of Santa Barbara County:

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.” Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local non-profit and public sector agencies. UWSBC’s local community driven Power of Partnership™ priorities help children, families & seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health.


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