Earned Income Tax Credit
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a special tax benefit for working people who earn low to moderate incomes. It is a refundable federal tax credit that reduces or eliminates their income taxes. If the amount of tax credit the worker qualifies for is more than taxes he/she owes, the worker will receive the difference as a cash refund. The EITC allows working families and individuals to keep more of the money they work so hard to earn.
United Way Erie Free Taxes is a program established to help eligible low to moderate income wage earners claim the federal EITC by providing them with free federal, state and local tax preparation at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in various city and county locations.
Additional services provided by Erie Free Taxes: Community Outreach and education regarding the benefits of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, and financial literacy and asset management education and counseling.
- Form 1040EZ
- Form 1040 A
- With schedule 1, 2, 3 & EIC
- Form 1040
- With Schedule A, B, EIC & R
- Form 1040 – V
- Form 1040 – ES
- Form 2441 (Child and Dependent Care Credit)
- Form 8863 (Education Credits)
- Form 8812 (Additional Child Tax Credit)
Will Not Prepare:
- Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business)
- Complicated & Advanced Schedule D (Capital Gains and Losses)
- Schedule E (Rents & Losses)
- Form SS-5 (REquest for Social Security Number)
- Form 2106 (Employee Business Expenses)
- Form 3903 (Moving)
- Form 8606 (Non-deductible IRA)
- Form 8615 (Minor’s Investment Income)
Advantages of the EITC:
- Lifts approximately 5 million Americans above the poverty line every year
- Reduces child poverty by 25%
- Is a powerful wage subsidy
- Can increase wages by up to $2/hour*
- Rewards work and stabilizes the workforce
- Generates additional economic activity and growth within the community
*Sources: Govebrookings Institution
You may be eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit if your 2012 earned income and adjusted gross income are less than:
- $45,060 ($50,270 married filing jointly) with 3 or more qualifying children
- $41,952 ($47,162 married filing jointly) with 2 qualifying children
- $36,920 ($42,130 married filing jointly) with 1 qualifying child
- $13,980 ($19,190 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
Tax Year 2012 Maximum Credit
- $5,891 with 3 or more qualifying children
- $5,236 with 2 qualifying children
- $3,169 with 1 qualifying child
- $475 with no qualifying child
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites
- Free income tax filing services for households with incomes of $51,000 or less
- Federal, state and local tax returns are completed by trained and IRS certified volunteers at VITA sites located throughout the city and county of Erie.
- Income tax returns are filed electronically at all VITA sites. Recipients can receive their refund in 3-5 days if Direct Deposit is used.
- Savings opportunities.
- PNC prepaid VISA debit card for eligible taxpayers at select VITA sites.
- Free check cashing option for eligible taxpayers.
Call 1-888-829-5680 for a list of sites and schedules.
Want To Do Your Own Taxes?
Do your own federal and state tax returns online with MyFreeTaxes. Easy and convenient for filers with simple returns and incomes around $57,000 or less. Support is available to help you with any tax law questions you might have. To use MyFreeTaxes, simply go to www.unitedwayerie.org/ErieFreeTaxes and click on the MyFreeTaxes link.
- Volunteers prepare basic and intermediate-level tax returns
- Volunteers do not need a background in finance, business, or accounting
- This is a wonderful opportunity to help people in a way that improves quality of life for individuals, families, and the community
Through the awareness, education, and the use of free tax preparation sites we will succeed in bringing the benefits of the EITC to our community.
If you are interested in learning more about the VITA volunteer experience, please contact:
Cheryl Bates, Program Director
Erie FREE Taxes
814-456-2937, ext. 236
Over $2.3 million in EITC refunds were claimed by Erie VITA site filers last year. $6 million in tax refunds were returned to nearly 3,300 Erie Free Taxes VITA site filers in the 2011 filing season. Through host tax preparation sites called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, eligible tax payers have their income tax returns completed and electronically filed for free, saving each filer hundreds of dollars in commercial tax return preparation and refund loan fees.
*Sources: Government Accounting Office; Brookings Institution