Itching To Know What EITC Is? Plus Free Tax Help From NYC.

EITC Day 01
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin man the phones during the first-ever Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day of Action, while more than 2,000 volunteers called New Yorkers to encourage them to file their taxes for free and claim refund-boosting tax credits

The City of New York, more than ever, is informing the public on the subject of Tax Credits and Tax Preparation. EITC stands for Earned Income Tax Credit and January 31, 2015 marked the launch of New York City’s Earned Income Tax Credit campaign. The campaign is targeted at the 1 in 5 households that are eligible for the EITC (a significant tax benefit for low-to-moderate income workers) and don’t claim it.

“We can’t afford to let tens of thousands of New Yorkers who are eligible for these valuable refunds not file, and so for the first time ever, the City’s heavily investing to ensure every eligible New Yorker knows about the tax credits and City’s services and gets back every dollar they can,” stated Mayor de Blasio.EITC Day 02

The outreach efforts on January 31st placed 2,000 volunteers in call centers in all five boroughs.  These volunteers sprung from all walks of life and among them were: EITC recipients, those from community based organizations, elected officials, and corporate sponsors. The City’s goal is to reach 270,000 New Yorkers identified as likely candidates for eligibility based on neighborhood demographics, community tax data from the 2014 tax season 2014, and previous contact with City services.

The EITC is the largest poverty reduction program in the U.S. for qualifying families, non-custodial parents (NYS EITC only), and singles who work full time or part time or are self-employed. For working families in New York City, EITC claims average $2,500 and can be worth as much as $8,293. Families with low incomes who are employed or underemployed who have child care costs for children up to age four could also be eligible for up to $1,733 with the New York City Child Care Tax Credit (NYC CCTC). Combined these credits can total almost $10,000.

Free Tax Help:

The City’s tax preparation services include traditional Volunteer Income Tax Assistance EITC 001(VITA) sites where returns are prepared by IRS-certified volunteers with filers, convenient drop-off sites where filers can drop off their tax documents and return later to pick up the completed return  or receive it by email, and self preparation online at nyc.gov/taxprep. DCA’s website also offers, for the first time, an interactive map where people can search for the most convenient free tax site in their neighborhood based on a number of criteria, such as language of service, location, and hours of operation.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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