Free Tax Assistance Helps Thurston County Residents Claim Their Full Refunds
(Lacey, WA) — 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.
The Earned Income Tax Credit awareness outreach is a nationwide effort to increase knowledge about the EITC and other refundable credits. This year, IRS is promoting EITC and providing information on other refundable tax credits that you may be eligible for. This includes the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit.
In 2016, $436,000 workers in Washington State received about $956 million in EITC refunds.
If you worked last year and your income is less than $53,505, check out your eligibility for EITC. EITC can mean up to a $6,269 refund when you file a return and have qualifying children. Workers with no qualifying children could be eligible for a smaller credit, up to $506 dollars. On average, EITC adds
$2,400 to refunds.
The Thurston Asset Building Coalition promotes EITC awarness each year because one-third of the EITC population changes each year. The IRS estimates only 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. Its 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. For tax year 2016, a worker with no children who makes less than $14,880 can receive up to $506. Single parents with three or more children who make less than $47,955 are eligible for $6,269. Married couples must file taxes jointly. Couples earning less than $20,430 qualify for a credit of $506. Those with three or more children qualify for $6,269 if they make less than $53,505.
Find out if you are eligible using the EITC Assistant; it’s available in both English and Spanish. The Assistant helps you:
- find your filing status,
- find out if you have a qualifying child or children,
- verify if you are eligible for EITC, and
- estimate the amount of your credit.
Let the Assistant help you get it and get it right. Visit irs.gov/eitc to find the Assistant. Also, if you make less than $54,000, you qualify for free tax return preparation through volunteer sites. IRS-certified volunteers prepare your tax return and find out if you qualify for EITC and other refundable credits.
Find a FREE Tax Preparation site near you. The Thurston Asset Building Coalition in partnership with the AARP Tax Aide Foundation offer free tax preparation services for low-to-moderate-income working people. The sites are staffed by trained and IRS certified volunteers. Volunteers ask you the needed questions to find out if you qualify for the EITC and other refundable tax credits. Volunteers at Tax-Aide sites, also prepare and e-file (electronically file) your tax return at no cost to you.
“The EITC is a refundable credit so it will not only reduce any tax you owe, it will also give you a refund. Yes, it is possible to receive the credit even if you have not paid any taxes during the year, but you must have earned income.” – Kirsten Kline, District Coordinator for the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program in Thurston and Lewis Counties.
Let us help you get it and get it right. Visit thurstonabc.org/taxes or call 211 to find a free income tax preparation site near you.