Erie Free Taxes

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.

Will Prepare:

  • 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 2014 earned income and adjusted gross income are less than:

  • $46,997 ($52,427 married filing jointly) with 3 or more qualifying children
  • $43,756 ($49,186 married filing jointly) with 2 qualifying children
  • $38,511 ($43,941 married filing jointly) with 1 qualifying child
  • $14,590 ($20,020 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

Tax Year 2014 Maximum Credit

  • $6,143 with 3 or more qualifying children
  • $5,460 with 2 qualifying children
  • $3,305 with 1 qualifying child
  • $496 with no qualifying child

Free Tax Filing Services

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites

  • Free income tax filing services for households with incomes of $53,000 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 recieve 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 – Erie Free Taxes 2014-2015 Outreach Brochure DV

Want To Do Your Own Taxes?

If your income is 58,000 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 and click on the MyFreeTaxes link.

New at Porreco College and Edinboro University (Main Campus)

If your income is $58,000 or less and you want to do your own taxes but would like to have a certified tax preparer present to answer your federal or state return questions, call 1-888-829-5680 to make an appointment for this new filing option.

  • Available in March and extending through the end of the filing season.
  • FREE use of on-site computers
  • No charge
  • Open to the public

Volunteer Opportunities

  • 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