Post date: Jan 28, 2009 1:06:13 AM

People who work but don’t earn a lot of money may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, as well as free help preparing their tax return. Today (Jan. 30) marks EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase public awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites.

IRS estimates that 20 to 25 percent of eligible taxpayers fail to claim the credit which could put as much as $4,824 into the pockets of a family with two children, or send as much as $2,917 to a family with one child, or up to $438 for a worker with no children. The Earned Income Tax Credit is the federal government’s largest program benefiting lower earning workers.

“The extra dollars eligible taxpayers can get through EITC can make their lives a little easier,” said Martha Dempsey, Senior Tax Consultant with Taxx Time!, “but they must file tax returns, even if they aren’t required to file, and claim the credit to receive it.”

Dempsey said some individuals and families may qualify for the credit for the first time because of unemployment or other changes in their financial, marital or parental status during the past year.

Taxpayers with the earnings of or below $38,646 ($41,646 if married filing jointly) for families with two or more children; $33,995 ($36,995 married filing jointly) for families with one child or $12,880 ($15,880 married filing jointly) if there are no children should check to see if they qualify.

The EITC is a valuable but complex tax break. Free help is available to determine eligibility and file to claim the credit at volunteer tax assistance sites or, for those who cannot visit a site during hours/days of operation, at a local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

The following are the locations and hours of operations of affordable tax preparation sites in this area:

1901 E. Palm Valley Rd. Suite 218, Round Rock, TX 78664 512-388-8998 M-F 10.00-8.00PM, Sat: 10.00-5.00PM, Sunday 1:00-5:00PM

People should come prepared with the following items:

  • Valid driver's license or photo identification (self & spouse, if applicable)
  • Social Security cards for all persons listed on the return
  • Dates of birth for all persons listed on the return
  • All income statements: Forms W-2, 1099, Social Security, Unemployment, or other benefits statements, self-employment records and any documents showing taxes withheld
  • Dependent child care information: payee’s name, address and SSN or TIN
  • Proof of account at financial institution for direct debit or deposit (i.e. cancelled/ voided check or bank statement)
  • Prior year tax return (if available)
  • Any other pertinent documents or papers

To file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

For more information contact:

Martha Dempsey

Taxx Time!