Millions of workers could overlook important federal tax credits because they simply don't know about them.
They could miss out on up to $6,044 extra in their federal income tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and as much as $1,000 per qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. (MICA) will soon launch its annual free tax preparation program, VITA, to ensure families don't miss these essential tax credits. The program operates in Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama counties.
The EITC is a refundable tax credit available to qualifying lower-wage workers and their families. Workers earning less than about $48,000 from wages, self-employment or farming in 2013 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.
To find out if you qualify or schedule an appointment contact your local MICA Family Development office or, in Tama County, the ISU Extension office.
To staff the VITA program, MICA is looking for volunteers to help prepare taxes for low-income individuals and families. No prior experience is necessary, as tax preparation training is provided. MICA is also in need of volunteer translators and greeters.
Most tax preparation will take place during the primary tax season of February and March 2014. In addition to completing self-study training by Feb. 5, volunteers may choose to attend classes to help prepare for certification.
Finally, volunteers are encouraged to be available for at least 10 hours of service during February and March.
To learn more about this volunteer opportunity or the EITC, contact MICA Volunteer Coordinator Meghan Smith at 641-752-7162, ext. 147 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers can also sign up online at www.micaonline.org/get_involved.