It’s tax season again. And, believe it or not, that could mean good news–and extra cash for you.
FREE Help Preparing Your Tax Return
If you need help preparing your tax return and Schedule EIC, you can get assistance from trained tax preparers free of charge!
Hiring a commercial tax preparer could cost you $55 to $100. It can cost another $30 to $90 to get a “quick refund”. A program called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), run by the IRS, provides free income tax preparation help to low- and moderate-income workers. Anyone eligible for the EIC is automatically eligible to use VITA.
VITA volunteers are trained by the IRS to fill out tax forms and answer questions. Most communities have several VITA sites. To find the VITA site near you, call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-TAX-1040. Ask for the Taxpayer Education Coordinator Office in your state. The Taxpayer Coordinator will be able to tell you about local VITA sites.
Learn more about VITA and other programs for assisting with tax preparation/filing at the IRS site.
Below is important information on how you can get money back from the IRS regardless of whether you owe money, expect a refund, or don’t owe any taxes.
Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act
The Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act offers a tax credit filing option to individuals who were living in a county hit by Hurricane Katrina, Rita or Wilma that was designated a federal disaster area. If you meet these requirements you can use your 2004 or 2005 income when figuring your Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit. This choice will enable many low- and moderate-income workers, whose 2005 income was reduced because of Katrina-related reasons, to get a larger tax refund.
Earned Income Credit: You May Qualify
The Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a special benefit for working people who earn low or moderate incomes. The EIC can help you get back some or all of the federal income tax that was taken out of your pay during the year. You might be eligible to get extra cash back from the IRS. The amount you get depends on how much money you earned last year and how many children you have.
Even if you don’t owe any income tax or did not have money withheld from your paychecks, you may qualify for money back. To receive the EIC, you must file any federal tax return (1040 EZ, 1040A or 1040). Learn more about the Earned Income Tax Credit and how you can get money back.
Getting A Child Tax Credit
In 2001 Congress passed a refundable component to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for taxpayers raising dependent children. This credit is worth up to $1,000 per dependent child under age 17 in 2005 and is available as a refund check from the IRS. Claiming this credit does not reduce benefits earned from the Earned Income Credit.
New! Helpful changes to the Child Tax Credit take effect in 2005
Getting Credit for Child & Dependent Care
Another important tax credit that you may be able to use to put more money in your pocket is the Child and Dependent Care Credit. All families that earn enough money to pay federal income tax are eligible for a credit of up to $2,100, if they had child care or adult dependent care expenses in 2005 and meet the requirements. Claiming this credit does not reduce benefits earned from the Earned Income Credit. Additionally, a number of states have their own Child and Dependent Care credit. To find out if this is available in your state, contact your State Department of Revenue. Learn more about the Child and Dependent Tax Credit and how you can get money back.
Education Tax Credits
The Hope Scholarship Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit were created to make learning more affordable. These credits provide money back for those paying college tuition. Find out more…
Getting Tax Forms
If you have additional questions or need tax forms, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call them toll-free at 1-800-TAX-1040 (800-829-1040). Most forms are also available at post offices and libraries.