D.C. Pro Bono Effort Benefits Low Income Individuals

April 12, 2013

For more than a dozen years, Washington partner Steve Kittrell has been working with the DC Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign (DC EITC) to provide free tax assistance to low income individuals from Washington, Maryland and Virginia. In addition to helping their clients claim tax benefits and refunds as an important step toward increasing income and savings, the program’s goal is to connect taxpayers with year-round economic support such as free financial education and savings programs, credit counseling, and affordable banking products and services.

Each Saturday during tax season finds Steve volunteering at the program’s site in the Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington. This site operates weekday evenings and Saturdays with more than 100 volunteers. Last year, the site prepared more than 1,000 federal and 1,000 state returns. Those taxpayers got back more than $3 million in federal and state refunds, including substantial amounts of the earned income tax credit (EITC).

“Many of our clients would either not file or would use a significant part of their refunds to pay for tax return preparation,” Steve said. “With DC EITC, these individuals receive quality tax preparation and the opportunity to improve their financial situations.

“I see the success of the program by the large number of people who return year after year and the many who remember me from past years. I think that the site benefits from having a tax lawyer who can deal with the difficult questions like foreign income and multi-state returns. This is an example of how McGuireWoods lawyers can use their skills to provide real help to people outside of a court room.”