About EITC Carolinas
EITC Carolinas is an initiative of MDC, a non-profit working to build equity and opportunity by piloting projects and bringing them to scale in the areas of education, employment, and economic security. EITC Carolinas began in 2003 as an outgrowth of another MDC project, the Program for the Rural Carolinas. Local coalitions in 8 rural counties in both North and South Carolina saw a need to promote the EITC and educate tax filers about the extremely high cost of Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) in their areas. The first year, 3 groups focused on EITC outreach while 5 did both outreach and free tax preparation, completing 350 tax returns.
With the help of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, who was interested in increasing their rural EITC work, EITC Carolinas became a statewide intermediary for rural EITC campaigns. EITC Carolinas now provides assistance to rural, as well as urban, EITC outreach campaigns and free tax preparation programs in both North and South Carolina. EITC Carolinas works with an expanding network of free tax preparation programs through the IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program and The Benefit Bank of NC, now managed by MDC. The VITA and Benefit Bank organizations that partner with EITC Carolinas completed over 24,000 returns last year, saving tax filers an estimated $5 million dollars in tax preparation fees.
- Ensure that eligible workers and families claim valuable tax credits
- Support community free tax preparation sites
- Encourage families to pay down debt and build savings at tax time
- Research state policies that support family economic stability
Launched in 2006 as the North Carolina Asset Building Policy Task Force, the Assets Alliance seeks to educate the public and policy makers about successful asset building strategies. The coalition has grown to 76 public, private, and non-profit institutions and has successfully influenced state policy. Most notably, North Carolina created a state EITC in 2007 and increased the amount of the credit from 3.5% to 5% of the federal credit in 2010. The Assets Alliance continues to advocate for policies that connect households and communities to work, income supports, and opportunities to generate savings and build and protect assets. More information on the alliance, its policy priorities, and a list of participating organizations, can be found at the North Carolina Assets Alliance website.
Asset Building for Persons with Disabilities Project:
Another joint initiative of EITC Carolinas and the Collaborative, this project was launched by a partnership with the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities and works closely with the National Disability Institute. The project developed an Assets Toolkit for persons with disabilities, works to ensure the active participation of the disability community in the Assets Alliance, and conducts outreach efforts to connect those with disabilities with asset building opportunities.
Sources of Support
We are grateful to the following funders for their past and present support of EITC Carolinas and MDC’s related projects: