Free Online Tax Preparation
I-CAN!® E-file can help you file your taxes for FREE. There is no income limit to use I-CAN!® E-file. Just answer simple questions on each screen and print your completed tax return. I-CAN!® E-file can also e-file (electronically file) your return to the IRS.
Working Families Credit
The San Francisco Working Families Credit (WFC) gives $100 to qualified low-income working families in San Francisco. WFC recipients can also get benefits such as discounted MUNI passes. The Working Families Credit program also raises awareness of the other money and benefits for San Francisco working families including:
—Up to $4,800 through the Earned Income Tax Credit
—Up to several hundred dollars per month in food assistance
—Free and low-cost health coverage for children and many parents
—Free job search and career services
—Free or low-cost checking accounts
—Other services for working families
Understanding the very basic aspects of money and money management is essential. Even just a little bit of information can help put you on the road to better financial shape.
•DebtFreeU.org shares your goal of increasing financial awareness, and we
would like to be included as a financial literacy resource on your website.
Reliable access to current, reliable information and tools that empower young
adults to master money management.
• One of the best local resources is the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco (CCCS), a non-profit service providing money management information and assistance. CCCS offers help on budgeting, credit report review, debt counseling, bankruptcy services, and housing services with the goal of helping people become debt-free.
– The CCCS website's Publications Page has over a hundred articles on important money-related topics including: Money Management, Credit and Debt, Credit Reports and Scores, Housing, Planning for the Future, Identity Theft and Fraud, Legal Issues, Taxes, and Teens and Money.
• Know How To Talk Money: knowing all these financial acronyms and gobbledy-gook jargon doesn’t affect your everyday life as a mama or home manager; they’re still good to know. Read more on Simple Mom.net.
• TheBeehive.org is a wonderful site full of information for:
– How to use an ATM machine.
– The Money Made Easy Quiz will help you see how you can better manage your money.
– What are the benefits of having a checking account?
– What's the difference between a bank and a credit union?
– Looking for a bank? Take the online questionnaire, which will end with a list of suggestions.
– Online Banking how-to and questions and answers.
Workshops can be a good opportunity to educate yourself and to gain wisdom from an expert.
• The Consumer Credit Counseling Service has great monthly workshops. See their Workshops Page for a list of upcoming events.
• Parents Place has workshops on estate planning.
Other Financial Literacy Resources
Most major banks have great (often interactive) resources for kids, parents, and teachers.
• Bank of America's Achieve Your Goals Program
• Wells Fargo's Hands on Banking Program (also in Spanish!)
• Washington Mutual's Learn and Plan Program
• File taxes free online if you make under $40k.
• Don't have a Social Security number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)? No worries. You can still file your taxes with CompleteTax. Just leave the Social Security information blank, print your tax return, and go to your local IRS office to get an ITIN and file in person. Learn more about getting an ITIN.
• Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – You may be eligible for $4400 or more in federal tax credits from the Internal Revenue Service!
Maintaining good credit, or cleaning up your bad credit, is one of the most important steps to establishing a financially sound future for you and your family.
• General Credit Information from TheBeehive.org
• Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco offers help on budgeting, credit report review, debt counseling, bankruptcy services, and housing services with the goal of helping people become debt free.
• Free Credit Reports. You have the right to order a free copy of your own credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus below. Make sure you are the only one using your credit. Order your copy online or call the Annual Credit Report Request Service (877) 322-8228.
– Experian. (888) EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742) or www.experian.com
– Equifax. (800) 685-1111 or www.equifax.com
– Trans Union. (800) 888-4213 or www.transunion.com
Insurance is an extremely important way to protect your family, whether it's life insurance, home, or renters insurance. Some basic policies can be purchased for a small amount of money.
• The Beehive has some good general information about the different types of insurance. The information is also provided in Spanish and Chinese.
• Insurance Information Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides good basic information about all types of insurance. The website also has information in Spanish.
Saving for college, retirement, a house, or just for a bit more security can make a huge difference for your family. Even just saving a little bit each month will help get you in the habit, and it will add up over time.
• EARN.org is a local nonprofit organization with the mission to break the cycle of poverty by matching the savings of low-wage workers and helping them invest in assets that build wealth, creating a cycle of prosperity across generations.
EARN offers two programs — one for general savings and one for college savings. An Individual Development Account (or IDA) is a program in which EARN will match your savings 2-to-1 when you save toward a first home, a small business, or higher education. After taking the required (free) money-management training, you can open an IDA with as little as $20. Save up to $2,000 in your IDA, and EARN will match it with an additional $4,000, giving you a total of $6,000.
• Saving and Investing can be easier than you think. The Beehive has some great solutions to help your family.
• Saving for College
– EARN's College Savings Program, SAFE, provides $1,500 if you and your child save $500.
– Check out www.savingforcollege.com for information about college savings accounts and an online tutorial called College Savings 101.
No one wants to think about the worst happening but it's always best to be prepared to make sure your family is protected.
• If something happened to you (and/or your partner), are you prepared? If something happened to you (or both you and your partner), who would you want your children to live with? If you don't make your choices clear, someone else would need to choose for you.
• Nolo Press has some good, basic information and they also publish books and software so that you can do basic forms on your own. See the following articles for information about:
– Guardianship for your children.
– Health Care Directive and Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare