Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Sites To Help People Claim Earned Income Tax Credit

People who work and earn less than $50,270 from wages, self-employment or farming may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC and free help preparing their tax return. Today, January 25th, marks the 7th National EITC Day, a nationwide effort to increase public awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites.

Although an estimated four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit, one in five still miss EITC. Either because they don’t claim it when filing, or don’t file a tax return. This is money that can make a difference. Last year, the credit returned close to $62 billion dollars to over 27 million workers. On Hawaii Island, families saved about $180 in filing charges and claimed over $170,000 in federal credits.

Workers who qualify for EITC could receive larger refunds. It can mean up to $475 in EITC for people without children, and up to $5,891 for those with three or more qualifying children.  EITC varies by income, family size and filing status and the average EITC amount last year was $2,200.

With the exception of some disability income, people must work to qualify for EITC. They earned it. Now they must file, claim it and get it.  EITC is a valuable but complex tax break for working families but free help is available from IRS-certified volunteers.

VITAThe following Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites are taking appointments:

Hilo

  • Alu Like, Inc., 32 Kino’ole Street, Suite 102, Friday, Feb. 8, 10am-4pm and Sat., Feb. 9, 9am – 4pm Call (808) 961-2625
  • Goodwill Industries of Hawai’i, Inc., 200 Kanoelehua Ave., Suite 101, Thursdays, 4pm-7pm, Start:  2/07 – End:  4/04, Call (808) 443-5838
  • HFS Federal Credit Union, 632 Kino’ole Street, Sat., Feb. 2 and March 16 Only, 10am – 3pm, Call (808) 930-1400
  • Hawai’i First Community Resource Center, Hilo Shopping Center, 1221 Kilauea Ave., Suite 150, Call (808)933-6600

Kona

  • Goodwill Industries of Hawai’i, Inc., 74-5599 Luhia Street, Suite F-4, Thursdays, 4pm – 7pm, Start:  2/07 – End:  4/04, Call (808) 443-5838
  • The Homes of Ulu Wini, 73-4180 Ulu Wini Place, Saturday, Feb. 9 and March 9 Only, 10am – 3pm, Call (808) 933-6065

Waimea

  • Hawai’i First Community Resource Center, Parker Ranch Shopping Center, 67-1187 Mamalahoa Hwy., Call (808) 885-7349

Workers should come prepared to a volunteer site with the following:

  • A valid driver’s license or other photo id card
  • Social security cards, a Social Security number (SSN) verification letter or the Individual Taxpayer Identifying Number (ITIN) for all persons listed on the return
  • Birth dates for all persons listed on return
  • All income statements: Forms W-2 and 1099, Social Security, unemployment, and other statements, such as pensions, stocks, interest and any documents showing taxes withheld
  • All records of expenses, such as tuition, mortgage interest, or real estate taxes
  • Copies of last year’s state and federal tax returns, if available
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit any refund
  • Dependent child care information: name and address of who you paid and either the caretaker’s SSN or other tax identification number
  • Both spouses to sign forms to e-file (electronically file) a joint tax return

“EITC is a financial boost for working people, and their families and it allows more funds to flow into our community. It’s money that can make lives a little easier,” said Frecia Cevallos, Department of Research and Development.

 

 

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