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 by IRS -certified volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in various city and county locations. VITA works to ensure that eligible tax filers receive all their tax credits and deductions, including the Child Tax Credit, Education Tax Credit and Child Care tax deductions.
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.
You may be eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit if:
- Your 2015 earn income and adjusted gross income (AGI) are less than $54,000
- You have a qualifying child, defined as son, daughter, grandchild, stepchild or adopted child, brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister (and their descendents) foster child place with the worker by a government or private agency
- Child is under age 19, or under 24 if a full-time student, or any age if totally and permanently disabled
- Child must live with the worker in the U.S. for more than half the tax year
You may be eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit if your 2015 earned income and adjusted gross income are less than:
- $47,747 ($53,267 married filing jointly) with 3 or more qualifying children
- $44,454 ($49,974 married filing jointly) with 2 qualifying children
- $39,131 ($44,651 married filing jointly) with 1 qualifying child
- $14,820 ($20,330 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
Tax Year 2015 Maximum Credit
- $6,242 with 3 or more qualifying children
- $5,548 with 2 qualifying children
- $3,359 with 1 qualifying child
- $503 with no qualifying child
FREE TAX FILING SERVICES
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites
- Free income tax filing services for households with incomes of $54,000 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.
- Savings opportunities.
Drop Off Service
Drop Off Service is a free service that allows you to bring your tax information to one of several designated Erie FREE Taxes locations and return a few days later to review, sign, and receive copies of your completed returns. No need to wait while your tax returns are being prepared.
Call 1-888-829-5680 for a list of VITA and Drop Off Service sites and schedules or download a copy here – EFT 2015-2016 Outreach Brochure
Want To Do Your Own Taxes?
If your income is $62,000 or less, you can complete your own federal and state income tax returns online and without cost. Certified tax preparers are available by phone or email to answer any tax related questions you may have. To use MyFreeTaxes, simply go to http://www.unitedwayerie.org/ErieFreeTaxes/MyFreeTaxes and click on the MyFreeTaxes icon.
- 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