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Expanding Free Income Tax Preparation To Colorado Families

Client/Funder: The Piton Foundation
Location: USA
Catapult Service Line: Design
Thematic Area: Community DevelopmentFinancial Inclusion


The Piton Foundation launched the Tax Help Colorado program ten years ago to provide Colorado families earning less than $54,000 per year with free tax preparation services. The program helps families take advantage of Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). The program has demonstrated its value to families, generating close to $15M in tax refunds and $5M in EITC for Colorado families in the last tax season. However, the program is built on many complex moving parts that threaten its long-term sustainability.


Catapult Design joined Piton Foundation’s Tax Help Colorado team to identify barriers facing the program, strategize ways to evolve, stabilize, and eventually grow the program. We kicked the project off by creating systems maps that illustrate all program activities, stakeholders, timelines, and resources. The maps visualize the complexities of the program and the relationships between activities. Through stakeholder interviews, Catapult and the Piton team identified priority areas, insights, and pain points.


This week we’re finishing up an ideation phase focused on generating ideas for expanding the number of families that the Tax Help Colorado program serves.