Free Tax Assistance and Accessible Online Tools to Help Workers Claim Their Full Refund
ROCKVILLE, MD — Millions of workers could miss out on more than $6,000 in extra federal income tax refunds simply because they didn’t know they were 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.
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 income 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 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In recognition of EITC Awareness Day on January 30, Goodwill Industries International is partnering with the IRS to assist workers around the country who may qualify file for EITC. In addition to offering free online and in-person tax preparation services at many local agencies, Goodwill® has created a free online EITC calculator to help filers determine whether or not they qualify for the tax credit.
The EITC is a refundable credit available to qualifying workers and their families. The value of the credit varies depending on family size and filing status so it is essential that workers find out if they qualify, especially if their financial, marital or parental statuses have changed in the past year. Even if workers do not need to file federal tax returns based on salary, they must do so to claim the credit. Filers have used the EITC to pay for necessities such as rent, bills, and home and vehicle repairs and maintenance. In some cases, the tax credit has been put toward large purchases, such as a home or car, and long-term investments, such as savings, obtaining additional education or training, or retirement.
Goodwill promotes the EITC in the community as part of its partnership with the IRS. 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. MyFreeTaxes is the nation’s only free online tax preparation and filing initiative available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for workers with a household income of $60,000 or less. The online platform allows filers to self-file using a simple step-by-step process that includes free telephone, email and online chat support with IRS-certified tax specialists.
“Hard working individuals and families deserve a financial boost that can make an immediate impact in their home and communities,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “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 help qualifying workers keep more of the money they’ve earned.”
Filers can begin filing their taxes in January through the end of the tax filing deadline. Goodwill’s mission is to provide job training, and career and community-based services to people with disabilities, those who lack education or work experience, and others facing challenges to finding employment. By claiming the tax credits they have earned this year, millions of hardworking taxpayers will be able to improve their financial stability and better care for their families.
To learn more about Goodwill’s VITA sites or financial strengthening programs, visit www.goodwill.org. To access Goodwill’s free EITC calculator and other EITC planning tools, visit MyFreeTaxes.com.
Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with a presence in 14 other countries. Goodwill is one of America’s top 20 most inspiring companies (Forbes, 2014). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,000 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food services preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2013, more than 9.8 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill’s career services. Goodwill channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To learn more, visit goodwill.org.
To find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at Goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl.