Opportunities Available for Assistance During Tax Season

<p>The April 17 deadline for filing federal, state and local taxes is less than a month away and DHHS is sharing opportunities for taxpayers to receive assistance in filing their taxes and determine if their eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.</p>

March 19, 2018 -- The April 17 deadline for filing federal, state and local taxes is less than a month away and DHHS is sharing opportunities for taxpayers to receive assistance in filing their taxes and determine if their eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Many low- to middle-income families cannot afford to use an online tax filing system or pay a tax professional to help prepare their income tax returns. This often means they will do it themselves and may miss out on important income tax deductions that could put more money back into their pockets.

DHHS is sharing information about NC Free File, free tax preparation assistance programs and the Earned Income Tax Credit with employees in case they can benefit from these services. DHHS is also asking partners to reach out to their communities and promote these opportunities to help thousands across the state.

NC Free File
This year, taxpayers with incomes as high as $66,000 for individuals and $95,000 for joint filers may be eligible for NC Free File, a free electronic tax filing service that is easier and more accurate for taxpayers filing state taxes. Those who file online through this free service may get their refund sooner and are not required to have a bank account. They can still receive a check by mail. For more information, go to https://www.ncdor.gov/NCfreefile.

Free Tax Preparation Assistance
For those who need more assistance in filing their taxes, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer in-person assistance in completing annual tax returns at no cost. These centers are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools or other convenient locations. Volunteers are trained to ensure families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other benefits get it. To find a center in your area and to make an appointment, go online to https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC)
The EITC is a tax credit for working people and families with low- to moderate-income. The EITC results in an extra tax refund for those who claim and qualify for the credit. The IRS estimates that one in five taxpayers who qualify for the EITC do not claim it. Learn more about the qualification requirements, or use the EITC Assistant to see if you or someone you know qualifies for the credit. Promotional and communication tools for the EITC are also available.

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