FREE TAX PREP
Free tax assistance is available in Greensboro.
United Way of Greater Greensboro knows the importance of having a personal safety net. By helping families save money, United Way is offering solutions that move people towards financial independence and a better quality of life.
Most households who earn $64,000 or less each year do not have to pay to file state and federal taxes. Saving $200 or more can make a big difference in preventing a financial crisis.
United Way has partnered with many local organizations to provide free tax preparation services for low- to moderate-income households in the Greater Greensboro area.
There are TWO KINDS of free tax assistance:
In-person Tax Preparation and Filing
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers IRS-trained volunteers to prepare taxes for people with a household income of $54,000 or less in 2016.
Taxpayers should bring to their appointment:
- Any tax documents such as forms W-2, 1099, 1098 or 1095A (if applicable).
- Social Security cards or ITIN letters for ALL persons on your tax return. If you don’t have the original Social Security card available, a photocopy of the card is okay, or an official letter with proof of the Social Security number for the individual. The volunteer must see the document. You cannot just tell them the number from memory–no exceptions.
- Picture ID (such as valid driver’s license) for you and, if you are filing jointly with your spouse, a photo ID for your spouse as well.
- For direct deposit of your refund, you must have proof of financial institution information (like a blank check).
- Not required but a good idea is to have a copy of your previous year tax return.
Online Tax Preparation
Individuals in households earning up to $64,000 can file their returns for themselves online at www.MyFreeTaxes.com, provided by H&R Block in cooperation with the Walmart Foundation, Goodwill Industries International, National Disability Institute, and United Way Worldwide. Taxpayers filing online have access to tax law experts through online chat or a toll-free phone number. This is a good option for people who have relatively simple returns, confidence in using the Internet, and a desire to be able to file their own taxes independently.
www.MyFreeTaxes.com can be used anywhere in the country 24/7. In Greensboro, four local nonprofits are offering computer and Internet access for those who do not have it at home so that they can take advantage of the service.
EITC COULD MEAN MORE $ IN THE BANK
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) could mean hundreds more in your bank account. The IRS estimates that one in five eligible workers do not get the Earned Income Tax Credit they have earned. United Way wants everyone who is eligible for the credit to receive it. If you earned less than $53,505 from wages or running a business or farm, see if you qualify for EITC.
EITC is designed to “make work pay,” by supplementing eligible workers’ earnings with additional income. The amount of the credit varies depending on filing status, the number of qualifying children, if any, and the amount of earnings. This money not only helps workers and their families, but the communities in which they live.
Every year, millions of people miss this potentially life-changing credit because they do not know about it. Over one third of workers who qualify for EITC are eligible for the first time this year. People move in and out of EITC eligibility due to life changes such as income amounts, marital or parental status.
STEP 1: Find out if you qualify for EITC.
If you worked last year and had income of less than $53,505 you should check out your eligibility for EITC.
To learn more about EITC eligibility and amounts, click here.
You can also receive general guidance by calling MyFreeTaxes at 1-855-MY-TX-HELP (1-855-698-9435). On average in North Carolina, EITC adds $2,462 to working families’ refunds.
STEP 2: If you qualify, make sure you get your credit and save on fees by filing for free.
For families who are walking a financial tightrope, saving $200 or more on paid tax preparer fees can make a big difference in preventing a financial crisis. Call 2-1-1 (United Way’s information and referral line) for details on free tax prep services near you.