United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / Are You Eligible for EITC? Get it, and get it right with free tax help.

Are You Eligible for EITC? Get it, and get it right with free tax help.

Workers may get a larger tax refund this year because of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). But to get it, you must file a tax return and claim it.

Today, January 31, 2020, marks the 14th anniversary of Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites. This year, IRS is promoting EITC and providing information on other refundable tax credits that you may be eligible for. This includes the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the Credit for Other Dependents (ODC) and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).

In 2019, 25 million workers received more than $63 billion in EITC refunds. In Alabama, 471,000 workers received more than $1.3 billion in refunds. This is $2,829 per worker.

If you worked last year and had income of less than $55,952 check out your eligibility for EITC. EITC can mean up to a $6,557 refund when you file a return if you have qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $529. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average amount credited for 2019 was $2,476.

Why is it important to have an EITC Awareness Day each year? One-third of the EITC population changes each year. The IRS estimates that four out of five workers claim the EITC they earned. This leaves billions of dollars on the table each year. We want to get the word out to those who are eligible to file a tax return even if they don’t owe any tax to claim the EITC. It’s money workers can use for groceries, rent, utilities and other bills.

EITC is complex. It varies by income, family size and your filing status. To be eligible, you must have earned income or certain disability income. This means you must have income from working for someone or working for yourself. Find out if you qualify –

Volunteers – trained by the Internal Revenue Service – ask you the needed questions to find out if you qualify for the EITC and other refundable tax credits. Volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, also prepare and e-file (electronically file) your tax return at no cost to you.

Let us help you get it and get it right. Call 211 or click here to find a VITA free tax preparation site

Bring the following to make sure our volunteers get you the right amount of credit you deserve:

  • A valid driver’s license or other photo id card
  • Social security cards, a social security number verification letter for all person listed on the return
  • Birth dates for all person listed on the return
  • All income statements: Forms W-2 or 1099, Social Security, unemployment, and other statements, such as pensions, stocks, interest and any documents showing taxes withheld
  • All records of expenses, such as tuition, mortgage interest, or real estate taxes
  • Copies of last year’s state and federal tax returns, if you have
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit any refund
  • Dependent child care information: name and address of who you paid or either the caretaker’s SNN or other tax identification number If you purchased coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Form 1095-A Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
  • Both spouses to sign forms to e-file a joint tax return