#parent | #kids | Free tax prep this year comes with contactless, virtual options – Orange County Register | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

In a socially distant pandemic age, tax preparation is the latest piece of life that has moved to the virtual realm.

The Orange County United Way is again offering free tax prep and electronic filing to low- and moderate-income individuals and families through its annual OC Free Tax Prep program.

This year, the program is offering three ways of filing:

  • Virtually by uploading tax documents to an online portal using a mobile device,
  • Online at MyFreeTaxes.com, or
  • Contactless drop-off locations with IRS-certified tax preparers on site.

There are 18 contactless Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)  sites in Orange County at community resource centers, churches and schools. Multilingual preparers will be available by request.

This year, California’s Earned Income Tax Credit has been expanded to tax filers who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN.

Anyone who qualifies for CalEITC and has children younger than age 6 years may also be eligible for the Young Child Tax Credit.

Orange County United Way said it is working with First 5 Orange County to reach young families so they can claim the tax credits, putting more of their earnings back into their pockets.

Households that earned less than $60,000 in 2020, but don’t qualify for EITC, are still eligible for free tax filing services.

Free tax prep also will be available in the parking lot of Cypress Community Park using a new mobile unit or e-bus loaded with Wi-Fi and computer stations. Tax prep will take place on Wednesdays starting Feb. 10 through April 7. Appointments are required, OC United Way said.

A list of VITA contactless drop-off locations is online at ocfreetaxprep.com/locations.

To make an appointment for the e-bus or get answers on services, call: 888-434-8248.

Masks are required for all contactless drop-off locations.

On the Move

Chris Garcia of Westminster has joined Women’s Transitional Living Center of Fullerton as development coordinator. He’s has been working in social services for nearly eight years, ranging from case management and development, to organizing successful 5K runs for Mothers Against Drunk Driving throughout Southern California.

Amy Humfleet is the new chief marketing officer at Irvine-based Arbonne International. Humfleet has nearly two decades of marketing and product innovation experience, including leadership roles at Aveda, Diamond Products, Dial and Kao Brands.

Leadership updates at CA Faucets

Huntington Beach-based California Faucets, a maker of kitchen and bath faucets, has promoted Brian Hunt to chief operating officer and Noah Taft to chief marketing officer.

A seven-year veteran of the company, Hunt most recently served as vice president of operations. In the newly created position of COO, he will assume the presidential duties of CEO Jeff Silverstein, who will continue in his role focusing on big-picture strategy and opportunities.

Taft joined the company in 2002 following a career writing and producing popular television shows, and most recently served as senior vice president of marketing and sales.

Resort taps new execs

The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club in Dana Point has a new executive team led by George Munz as general manager. Other new additions to the executive team include Jean-Pierre Dubray as executive chef and Pat Rizco as director of engineering.

Munz joins the resort after 30 years with The Ritz-Carlton brand. A native of France, Dubray has some 40 years of culinary experience, and Rizco has 30 years of experience working at Southern California resorts.

State appointments

Frederick P. White of Irvine has been appointed to the California Housing Finance Agency board of directors. He’s been a housing capital adviser for the city of Los Angeles Office of City Homelessness Initiatives since 2019, and was vice president and senior portfolio Manager at State Street Bank from 2017 to 2019. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. White is a Democrat.

New law firm in Irvine

The law firm Holland & Knight has opened an office in Irvine with a team of nine litigators formerly with the Enterprise Counsel Group, also in Irvine. The president and founding shareholder of ECG David Robinson will lead the team serving as executive partner.

Holland & Knight said its new team will focus on commercial litigation, including trial, appellate, healthcare, trade secret and unfair competition law, corporate governance, real estate, water rights and constitutional matters.

Giving day is Feb. 10

Laura’s House, an Orange County-based nonprofit, is partnering with the Orange County Community Foundation and nine other nonprofits for the annual Love Is Giving Day on Feb. 10.

The 24-hour online effort aims to raise more than $100,000 for local nonprofits that support, educate and empower at-risk teens.

The 10 participating nonprofits are Casa de la Familia; Find Your Anchor; Initiative to End Family Violence, UC Irvine; Laura’s House; LGBTQ Center OC; OC Pride; Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation; Planned Parenthood-Orange & San Bernardino Counties; The Priority Center; and Women’s Transitional Living Center.

For more information and to donate, call 949-553-4202 or go to love-is-giving-day.ocnonprofitcentral.org/.

Status Update is compiled from press releases by contributing writer Karen Levin and edited by Business Editor Samantha Gowen. Submit items and high-resolution photos to sgowen@scng.com. Allow at least one week for publication. Items are edited for length and clarity.

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