Get Help With Your Taxes
Find Out If You're Eligible for the EITC
The EITC, or Earned Income Tax Credit, lets individuals who qualify keep more of what they earned. The credit is for lower to moderate income workers, reducing the amount of taxes owed, and potentially generating a refund. Both the federal government, and the State of Maryland offer an earned income tax credit – be sure to check and see if you qualify for this benefit when filing your taxes this year.
For more information about the federal EITC, click here (link is external).
For more information about Maryland’s EITC, click here (link is external).
Free Tax Preparation Assistance
Each year, the Internal Revenue Service’s (link is external) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free help for qualifying tax payers. As we head into the 2014 tax season, be aware of the options available for filing your federal tax returns.
The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $52,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.
The TCE Program offers free tax help for all with priority assistance to people who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement issues unique to seniors. IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.
To have your return prepared through the VITA or TCE program, find a participating site here (link is external), and be sure to bring the following items:
- Proof of identification – Picture ID
- Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
- Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
- Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
- A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
- Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
Check your federal income tax withholding to avoid an unpexected tax bill or penalty at tax time. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator.