Free Tax Assistance Helps Maine Residents Claim Their Full Refunds
Thousands of Maine workers could overlook important federal tax benefits because they simply don’t know about them. They could miss out on an extra boost.
To celebrate EITC Awareness Day CA$H Maine provided information at the Maine Statehouse Hall of Flags yesterday.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) can make a real difference for workers who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Janet Smith, statewide CA$H Maine Financial Capability Coordinator and New Ventures Maine Regional Manager. CA$H Maine is offering free tax preparation services to working families at over 30 sites throughout Maine. Individuals can get free help to determinetheir EITC and CTC eligibility and claim the credits.
The EITC is a refundable tax credit available to qualifying lower-wage workers and their families. Workers earning less than about $54,000 from wages, self-employment, or farming in 2017 could qualify. Many people will qualify for the first time this year due to changes in their income, their marital status, or parental status, according to the IRS. The IRS estimates that four out of five eligible workers currently claim their EITC.
“We want to raise the number to five out of five,” Janet Smith said. “Thanks to our trained and certified volunteers we plan on assisting more than 4,000 people this year. Today we wanted to raise awareness of this important benefit with our legislators and enlist their help in getting the word out.”
The CTC is available to workers with children who earn more than $3,000. A qualifying child must be under age 17.
A family’s tax refund also offers the opportunity to put some money into savings. To help families looking to save some their tax refund for unexpected expenses later in the year or to work towards another financial goal, CA$H Maine volunteers connect tax filers to matched savings programs, free classes, and other community services. To have their taxes prepared, residents should bring their income documents from all jobs that they worked throughout the year as well as their social security card, and a valid photo ID.
The EITC is one of the nation’s largest and most effective anti-poverty programs. In 2015, the EITC lifted an estimated 6.5 million people out of poverty, and more than half of them were children.
For more information or to schedule an appointment visit cashmaine.org.