Boston Tax Help Coalition
A group of nonprofits, businesses, and community organizations that advance the economic independence of working individuals and families.
The Boston Tax Help Coalition’s mission is to broaden pathways from poverty to financial empowerment. It does this by maximizing the impact of tax credits through:
- free tax preparation,
- financial education, and
- economic stability opportunities.
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Free tax preparation is the core service provided by the Boston Tax Help Coalition. Every tax season, the Coalition operates free tax and wealth building services. These services are available to all eligible low and moderate-income taxpayers in Boston.
Every year more than 400 volunteers are recruited, trained, and IRS certified through Boston Tax Help staff and training partners. Approximately 424 active volunteers are placed at one of the 30 free tax sites in targeted Boston Neighborhoods. With site coordinator supervision, volunteers meet with over 12,000 clients. They prepare tax returns electronically free of charge. The goal is to:
- maximize the taxpayer’s federal tax dollars
- Claim Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and
- other tax credits that otherwise might go unclaimed.
The Boston Tax Help Coalition’s Ambassador Program was created in 2005. The program addresses the significant number of immigrants that don’t use the full potential of the EITC. Eight community leaders act as “Ambassadors” for the Boston Tax Help Coalition. They do outreach in Boston’s new immigrant communities. Ambassadors receive training in basic personal finance, tax preparation, and community organization.
Each Ambassador is fluent in English and one of seven languages:
- Cape Verdean Creole
- Haitian Creole
In 2005 the Boston Tax Help Coalition joined with the National Disability Institute. This partnership expanded tax and asset building services to taxpayers with disabilities. The Coalition’s Disability Initiative has made it a leader in integration free tax prep with the needs of the disability community. Many taxpayers report a disability, but a significantly smaller number access and use these services.
The goal of this effort is:
- integrated and inclusive outreach
- service delivery for taxpayers with disability, and
- leadership development strategy for taxpayers with disabilities and their advocates.
Financial Check-Up aims to maximize the tax encounter. It provides a free, individualized financial assessment session for taxpayers at ten of the Coalition’s neighborhood sites.
Financial Check-Ups include:
- credit advising with a FICO Score evaluation
- access to financial aid advising if needed, and
- referrals to other services leading to greater financial stability.
Financial Check-Up provides self-help solutions and the option to participate in the Coalition’s year-long, one-on-one financial coaching program.
The Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment offers eligible Bostonians free access to:
- a personal financial coach
- a career specialist, and
- a whole menu of additional resources, including income supports.
To get started, come into the Roxbury Center in Nubian Square and attend an orientation session!