ROCKVILLE, MD – Goodwill Industries International urges workers to check whether they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) today, EITC Awareness Day. EITC can be the financial boost families need in these tough economic times — providing tax breaks to working people who earn low or moderate incomes, whether single or married, and resulting in as much as $5,657 in refunds for some families.
Through a partnership with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Goodwill will offer free tax preparation Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites nationwide to workers who earn low incomes and individuals with disabilities, among others.
In supporting an array of efforts to help workers, so that they have more funds available to cover essential family expenses, Goodwill also encourages people to avoid high-interest, short-term Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs). According to the Consumer Federation of America, RALs drained the refunds of nearly 9 million employees who earned low incomes in 2008, costing them $900 million.
“Goodwill hopes qualified workers will take advantage of the free tax preparation services at VITA sites,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “The IRS estimates that nearly 20 to 25 percent of eligible families still don’t claim the credit and we need to make sure that working families get back every dollar for which they are eligible to help cover transportation costs, education, and food, and to save for long-term expenses such as housing, education and other family expenses.”
Gibbons added, “We are also doing our best to encourage hard working Americans to avoid the pitfalls of refund anticipation loans, which offer quick access to refunds, but at a high cost that is ultimately detrimental to individuals and their families.”
In 2009, Goodwills across the country helped put more than $10 million in the pockets of hard-working families through the EITC. In addition, they prepared more than 19,000 returns, 1,700 of those for people with disabilities. Families are able to file for the EITC as far back as three years if they have not previously filed. More than 100 Goodwill agencies across the United States are engaged in tax preparation services and providing information on tax credits.
“Goodwill is ideally positioned to reach the target population of these workers so that they can correctly identify themselves as eligible for the credit, file a tax return and benefit from these refunds,” said Gibbons.
Goodwill’s goal is to help individuals receive the tax refunds they are due from the federal government — without loans, fees or interest charges.
For more information about the EITC, visit www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96406,00.html
To find your local Goodwill, visit our locator or call (800) 664-6577.