The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest anti-poverty program in the US, lifting 9 million people out of poverty. The EITC provides low-income working adults with a tax credit based on their income. On average, a qualified Forsyth County taxpayer receives $1,700 in EITC credit, and the credit can sometimes total more than the amount earned during the year. In addition to benefiting working families, the credit brings money directly into our community.
Forsyth Free Tax is a part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in which qualified volunteers prepare taxes for free for people making $53,000 a year or less. EITC and VITA are vital asset building tools that help low-moderate income people build wealth.
Tax preparers are educated on tax credits and help people receive every tax credit for which they qualify.
Returns for the 2013 tax season totaled 2,855 returns done through Forsyth County’s EITC/VITA.
Forsyth Free Tax expanded their reach during the 2013 year by using The Prosperity Point which consists of the Piedmont Triad Regional Council’s mobile unit which is equipped with ten computers and is capable of traveling to different sites in the area. The mobile unit has allowed the United Way and partner agencies to expand the reach of these services throughout the community for tax preparation and other purposes, and has been made possible by grant through Wells Fargo.
This mobile innovation received the National Association of Development Organization Innovation Award in 2013.
This year, a mobile unit that was made possible by Wells Fargo and owned by the United Way will provide an alternate method of tax preparation as well. The mobile unit is housed with Financial Pathways of the Piedmont.
The Triad EITC/VITA program in Forsyth County alone has helped bring in over $3.3 million in tax refunds, half stemming from the EITC last season. The best part is that the tax refunds go directly to the individual.
Forsyth Free Tax also offers online tax services at www.myfreetaxes.com/forsyth to individuals making less than $59,000 who want to self-prepare their taxes.
Community sites are available throughout Forsyth County to provide free tax preparation services during tax season. These sites offer free tax preparation, Asset Building Counseling, and linkages to asset-building programs such as Experiment in Self-Reliance’s Individual Development Account program, NC Saves, Financial Literacy Counseling, etc.
Certified volunteers are given the opportunity to prepare 1040EZ, 1040A, and many other 1040 returns.
Tax season officially begins on February 2, 2015. Tax sites this season will be at the following locations:
Appointment only sites:
People are asked to bring a picture ID, Social Security card for themselves and each dependent they are claiming, all W-2s and/or 1099s, employer ID number or SS number of childcare providers, and last year’s tax returns. If they want direct deposit of any refund, bring a check or savings account information.
Media Contact: Victoria Hutchins
722-9400 ext. 124