Award-Winning Program Promoting EITC Filing Receives Continued Support

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The trustees of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund awarded a grant of $675,000 to the UNITED WAY OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA to support RealSense, continuing the Fund’s decade-long support of Jacksonville’s primary program to build wealth among low-income families.

The grant was awarded just days before the program earned the coveted Common Good Award from United way Worldwide — one of only four programs internationally so honored.

RealSense was launched by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund with United Way in 2004. The program uses trained tax preparers to help low-income workers prepare and file their federal tax returns, claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit where appropriate. In the 10 years since inception, RealSense has saved Northeast Florida taxpayers $23.4 million in tax preparation fees and helped taxpayers claim $146.2 million in tax refunds.

“This money goes directly into the pockets of hardworking families,” said United Way President Connie Hodges,

While the Jessie Ball duPont Fund has been a primary supporter of RealSense, investing more than $2 million during the past decade, RealSense has a broad base of community supporters, including the City of Jacksonville, the Internal Revenue Service, local financial institutions and the business community.

United Way Worldwide recognized the program for its impact, noting, “Jacksonville’s RealSense campaign brings together a coalition focused on increasing the prosperity of the community and its citizens. The program’s tax sites have helped more than 115,000 families file their federal tax returns, resulting in over $44 million returning to the community in the form of Earned Income Tax Credit.”