Some Middle Tennesseans could be missing out on a special federal tax credit because they don't know about it.
As a result, they could miss out on up to $5,751 extra in their federal income tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Last year, the EITC boosted refunds for eligible workers by an average of $2,100.
"This money can make a real difference to workers struggling in this recovering economy" said Joyce Caldwell, Community Services Program director for Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency.
Anyone earning $49,078 or less from wages, self-employment or farming in 2011 should find out if they qualify.
Eligible workers must file federal income tax returns, even if they are not required to file, and specifically must claim the credit to get it. Other qualifications must be met. The EITC credit varies by taxpayer, based on the amount of earned income and dependents.
Finally, only taxpayers that have earned income though employment in 2011 can qualify for this credit on their 2011 Federal income tax return.
In order to help to working community to access the EITC, MCCAA operates Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, sites in seven counties: Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson. Through VITA, MCCAA provides free Federal income tax preparation, electronic filing and direct deposit services to eligible individuals.
To help preparers accurately determine EITC eligibility and prepare returns, individuals should bring:
• Photo proof of identification
• Social Security cards for themselves, their spouse and all dependents or Social Security number verification letters issued by the Social Security Administration
• Birth dates for all persons listed on the tax return
• Wage and earning statement(s) Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R, from all employers
• Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
• Copies of their prior year federal and state returns, if available
• Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit of their refunds
• Other relevant information about income and expenses
• Amounts paid for day care, if applicable, and the day care provider's identifying number.
Both spouses must be present to sign joint returns. Also worth noting is that due to the struggling economy, many people who did not qualify for the EITC credit in past years may do so this year. Other changes that may qualify a person include marital or parental status.
Taxpayers who think they may be eligible for the EITC Credit should contact their local MCCAA as soon as possible for more information: the last day to file 2011 Federal income taxes through a MCCAA VITA site is April 16, 2012.
The Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency, is located at 1406-A W. College S., in Murfreesboro and can be contacted at 615-890-2302 or 895-3093.