Millions of workers could miss out on more than $6,000 in extra federal income tax refunds simply because they don’t know they are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). According to the IRS, one out of five eligible workers is unaware that they qualify for the credit.
In recognition of EITC Awareness Day on Jan. 30, Goodwill is partnering with the IRS to assist workers around the country who may qualify file for the EITC. In addition to offering free online and in-person tax preparation services at many of its locations, Goodwill has created a free online EITC calculator to help filers determine whether or not they qualify for the tax credit: www.myfreetaxes.com/eitc-calculator
Many people will qualify for the EITC for the first time this year due to changes in their income, marital or parental status. Households with earned incomes of $52,427 or less in 2014 may qualify to claim the EITC and could be eligible to receive tax refunds of as much as $6,143 from IRS. The value of the credit varies depending on family size and filing status.
Beginning Feb. 3, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina is operating several Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to provide free tax preparation services, including information about the EITC. The sites are:
- Career Connections Center, 2701 University Parkway: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 4-8 p.m.
- Regional Operations Center, 2760 Peters Creek Parkway: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4-7 p.m.
- Prosperity Center, 508 Waughtown Street: Mondays, 9 a.m.-noon, Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m., Fridays, 11 a.m-1 p.m., & Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Career Connections Center, 413 Thornburg Drive: Mondays-Thursdays, 5-8 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon
- Iredell County Workforce Development Center, 124 Fourth Crescent Place: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5-8 p.m., Every other Saturday starting Feb. 7, 9 a.m.-noon
Goodwill is also partnering with the National Disability Institute and United Way to expand free online tax preparation and filing assistance to qualified individuals. Funded by the Walmart Foundation, MyFreeTaxes.com is a free online option to file federal and state tax returns for people with a household income of $60,000 or less. Two Goodwill locations are available for people wanting to prepare their own taxes online:
- Wilkes County Career Connections Center, 1821 US Hwy 421, Wilkesboro
- Buncombe County Career Connections Center, 1616 Patton Avenue, Asheville
“Hard-working individuals and families deserve a financial boost that can make an immediate impact in their homes and communities,” said Sherry Carpenter, the vice president of workforce development services for Goodwill NWNC. “By claiming valuable tax credits like the EITC and taking advantage of free tax preparation services, millions of families will have the ability to improve their financial stability and better care for their families.”
Goodwill’s VITA sites will operate through the tax filing deadline on April 15.