Monday, June 27, 2011
New to Cincinnati, Young Attorney Finds Volunteer Niche with EITC Tax-Prep
United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s efforts to provide solutions for increasing income, establishing savings, achieving home ownership, and enhancing economic self-sufficiency are critical in today’s economy. United Way’s Regional Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Collaborative helps families make work pay by providing free tax preparation services at nearly 80 sites throughout the region.
New to Cincinnati, University of Michigan Law School graduate Jonathan Brodhag, pictured above, perused UWGC’s web site, uwgc.org, for an engaging volunteer opportunity. He says, “The EITC tax prep opportunity grabbed me mainly because it fit my schedule as I was studying for the bar exam, and I was able to use my accounting skills.”
Jonathan is now in his second year as an EITC tax-prep volunteer and is working as the assistant city solicitor with the City of Cincinnati’s Economic Development Department.
In his capacity as a volunteer, he has enjoyed meeting many unique individuals. “A number of people have made an impact on me. From the couple in their mid-80’s to the single mom or dad showing up with all their kids, it’s admirable that they took the time needed to prepare—maybe while even holding down two jobs or coming off the third shift.”
Financial stability is one of the key factors to building strong and stable families, and, in turn, strong and stable communities. By accessing public benefits, such as the EITC, families can build savings and sustain financial assets.
Jonathan comments, “The program is providing such a great service—if you can wait 10 days to get your refund, you can get it all done for free!” While many filers are subject to service fees and refund anticipation loans sold to them by for-profit businesses, this free service returned $19.1 million to families and individuals through 16,553 filed returns in the 2010 tax-filing season.