Bob and Danielle Joyce* moved to Utah a little over a year ago with their two daughters. Previously living in Southern California, Bob had to make the hard decision to leave employment with his parents’ struggling business to seek opportunity in Utah, where they would also have the support of Danielle’s family.
Since moving to Utah, Bob has found employment as a driver for Community Action Services and Food Bank while Danielle has found part time employment with a local grocer. With funds a little short, they have had to rent a basement apartment in Provo from Danielle’s mother. With their current financial situation, the Joyces have not only had to forgo many luxuries but they have had to postpone certain necessities as well, including non-emergency doctor visits.
It was through his employer that Bob first found out about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and both he and Danielle were relieved to find out that they can have their taxes prepared by IRS-certified volunteers. With a family income of approximately $30,000 the Joyces received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and feel that for the first time in a long while, they have had breathing room in their spending.
The Joyce family has really seized this opportunity to prepare for the future. They first used their refund to pay down their debt and invest several thousand into savings. Bob acknowledges that it is a great feeling knowing that if something was to happen to their car, they could afford repairs. The family also used their extra funds to catch up on their medical checkups and dental visits and Danielle was even able to have a much-needed root canal. Bob has even been able to start investing in an Individual Development Account (IDA) that he plans on using to get his nursing degree. With their refund, they have also been able to take a vacation back to Southern California to visit Bob’s family. The Joyces know that none of this would have been possible without the EITC and the help they received through the VITA program.
*Names have been changed.
Half in Ten and the Coalition on Human Needs thank the Community Action Partnership of Utah and the National Community Tax Coalition for sharing this story.
- U.S. Census Bureau, “American FactFinder,” 2007 American Community Survey (accessed May 2011). Data came from the following tables: Statewide poverty percentages, GCT1701, Ratio of income to poverty level, C17002
- U.S. Census Bureau, “American FactFinder,” 2009 American Community Survey (accessed May 2011). Data came from the following tables: Statewide poverty percentages, GCT1701, Ratio of income to poverty level, C17002
- Half in Ten analysis of Table 1, 2007 State Expenditure Report, National Association of State Budget Officers.
- Half in Ten analysis of Table 1, 2009 State Expenditure Report, National Association of State Budget Officers.
- IRS EITC09. EITC09PY Table as of 12/31/10. IRS Master File, posted to IRS website, EIC Participation For Tax Year 2009, by State.