EITC Awareness Day, January 25th

EITC Awareness Day, January 25th

Millions of Working Families Could Overlook Valuable Tax Credit

Free Tax Help Available to Help Low-Wage New Mexican Residents Claim Their Full Refunds

People who work and earn less than $50,270 from wages, self-employment, or farming may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and free help preparing their tax return.  Today, January 25th, marks the 7th National EITC Day, a nationwide effort to increase public awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites.

Although an estimated four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit, one in five still miss out on EITC, either because they don’t claim it when filing, or don’t file a tax return.  This is money that can make a difference.  Last year, the credit returned was $62 billion dollars to over 27 million workers.

Workers who qualify for EITC could receive larger refunds.  It can mean up to $475 in EITC for people without children, and up to $5,891 for those with three or more qualifying children.  EITC varies by income, family size, and filing status, and the average EITC amount last year was $2,200.

With the exception of some disability income, people must work to qualify for EITC.  They earned it.  Now they must file, claim it, and get it.  EITC is a valuable but complex tax break for working families, but free help is available from IRS-certified volunteers.

  • Prosperity Works will offer appointments for all NM Individual Development Accounts (IDA) participants, past and present, who qualify eligible for Free Tax Preparation.  If you are enrolled in the IDA Program or have purchased an asset with an IDA, call Prosperity Works now to schedule your appointment!   For more information, call Prosperity Works at (505) 217-2747.
  • CNM/United Way Tax Help New Mexico also offers free assistance in preparing and filing income tax returns at 35 locations in New Mexico. They can help most New Mexico residents with an annual household income of less than $50,270, or who are over the age of 65.  Click on their website to find locations, http://www.cnm.edu/taxhelp.
  • Call 211 or 311 to find a volunteer free tax return preparation site.

“EITC is a financial boost for working people and their families, and it allows more funds to flow into our community.  It’s money that can make lives a little easier,” said Elisa Phillips, Prosperity Work’s Tax Help Site Coordinator.

Prosperity Works has partnered with community agencies throughout New Mexico to open more than 800 IDAs in the state.  IDAs were created to encourage savings, investment and asset accumulation among low and moderate income families.

Prosperity Works is raising awareness of these services on national EITC Awareness Day on January 25th.  The goal is to leverage the skills of Tax Help New Mexico and to support IDA participants in New Mexico by creating a site where IDA participants can get free help determining their EITC eligibility, and claim the credit.

What to bring:

Workers should come prepared to a volunteer site with the following:

  • A valid driver’s license or other photo id card
  • Social security cards, a Social Security number (SSN) verification letter or the Individual Taxpayer Identifying Number (ITIN) for all persons listed on the return
  • Birth dates for all persons listed on return
  • All income statements:  Forms W-2 and 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 available
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit any refund
  • Dependent childcare information:  name and address of who you paid and either the caretaker’s SSN or other tax identification number
  • Both spouses to sign forms to e-file (electronically) file a joint tax return