Free Tax Aid Can Help Families Qualify for the EITC
Thousands of local individuals and families could overlook a special federal tax credit because they don't know about it. As a result, they could miss out on up to $6,143 extra in their federal income tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. Last year the national average credit boosted refunds for eligible recipients by $2,500.
Anyone earning $43,750 or less in 2014 should see if they qualify. Many people will qualify for the first time this year due to economic changes in their income or changes in their marital or parental statuses according to the IRS. The agency estimates four out of five eligible workers currently claim their EITC.
Twenty Three free tax sites operated by Louisville Asset Building Coalition partners and staffed by certified volunteer tax preparers can help individuals and families determine EITC eligibility and claim the credit. To help preparers accurately determine EITC eligibility and prepare returns, individuals should bring:
Valid photo proof of identification
Social Security cards for themselves, their spouse and all dependents or Social Security number verification letters issued by the Social Security Administration
Birth dates for all persons listed on the tax return
Wage and earning statement(s) Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R, from all employers
Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
Copies of their prior year federal and state returns, if available
Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit of their refunds
Other relevant information about income and expenses
Amounts paid for day care, if applicable, and the day care provider's identifying number.
“For many working families, getting free help with taxes and the guidance in qualifying for the EITC can make a huge difference,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Its money they can use to start a savings account, buy a car, get braces for a child, pay for books and college tuition – or start a college tuition fund for their children. It’s huge for that family and huge for our community.”
Louisville Asset Building Coalition free tax service sites also offer access to financial products to avoid payday loans and high checking fees. Partnership with local banking institutions offer free check cashing, pre-paid deposit cards, and free or low-cost checking and savings accounts options.
Several sites provide self-service labs. Filers with an e-mail account may complete their own return using lab computers. Volunteer staff will be available to help during the process.
With the help of the Louisville Asset Building Coalition, more than 84,000 hardworking individuals and families in our community have received tax refund totaling over $90 million since 2001.
"We believe in growing better futures," says Ron Hatch, the coalition's Executive Director. "Everyone should have access to opportunities to be financially successful and economically stable."
For more information and a list of free tax preparation sites, click here.
In partnership with the IRS, the Louisville Asset Building Coalition ensures working families and individuals maximize their tax benefits, receive quality tax preparation services, and gain access to asset-building opportunities. LABC receives support and funding from Metro United Way, Louisville Metro Government, and other partners.