The Delaware Community Reinvestment Council, Inc., (DCRAC) has received a $25,000 grant from the Arsht Cannon Fund for its Low-Income Tax Clinic (LITC), which annually provides assistance to more than 200 Delawareans who have active controversies with the IRS concerning taxes.
“Since 2004, the Arsht-Cannon Fund has donated more than $8.3 million to support non-profit organization programs that serve Delaware. With the mission focusing on Delaware’s Latinos in 2008, over $5.4 million has funded research, educational opportunities, access to healthcare and special youth programs.” said Dr. Christine A. Cannon, Arsht-Cannon Fund Executive Director. “DCRAC’s work with the Latino community in the area of federal income tax compliance aligns with our focus on immigration. To many immigrants, a new life in America poses challenging obstacles for assimilation and integration which are compounded by the need to interact with the IRS.”
“We operate on the all too real frontlines of daily living and its complexities to ensure low-income taxpayers receive equal treatment in their many interactions with governmental entities,” says DCRAC Executive Director Rashmi Rangan. “This grant comes at a critical time in the struggle to inform, assist and empower Delawareans in need of access to services that are available for all.”
In 2013, 439,680 returns were filed in Delaware. Nearly two-thirds (76,590) have adjusted gross incomes below $50,000; an income level rife with issues involving income reporting inaccuracies, a large tax bill resulting from a misunderstanding over whether income was earned as an employee or as an independent contractor, identity theft, the qualification rules for the “earned income tax credit” (EIC) which is so important to the low income community, or an automated presumption of fraud. Nearly one in six Delawareans who claim an Earned Income Tax Credit can expect an IRS controversy; it is estimated that between 2003 and 2013 the IRS paid out at least $124.1 billion in improper payments. Caught in the web of intricate EIC rules are a large number of working Latino families with children who claimed average refunds of about $1,400. The Arsht Cannon grant will allow DCRAC’s Tax Clinic to serve and empower our Latino community in addressing existing and emerging federal income tax issues.
“The root causes of poverty, especially as they relate to a person’s pocket-book and economic security, may never leave our community. But with our advocacy, our knowledge, our commitment and our community support from donors such as the Arsht Cannon Fund, DCRAC assists in the crusade against injustice and exploitation of the low-income community.” says Rangan. “We are so grateful to the Arsht Cannon Fund’s focus on immigrant issues and we are honored by their recognition of our work in this area.”
About DCRAC: The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. (DCRAC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure equitable treatment and equal access to credit and capital for Delawareans. Since its founding in 1987, it has commented on the abusive and discriminatory mortgage lending practices that have visited misery upon low- and moderate income and minority communities. DCRAC received the coveted Standards for Excellence re-certification in 2013. To qualify for such prestigious recognition, DCRAC was evaluated pursuant to a rigorous process examining organizational ethics, accountability, integrity, financial management, program structure and governance, using benchmarks far exceeding legal requirements.