More workers in Central Kentucky eligible for federal tax refund dollars
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2015) — The Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Project (CKEEP) is providing free tax preparation assistance at 17 sites across Central Kentucky from Jan. 28 to April 15.
This year, many workers will qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the first time because their income declined or they became unemployed; tax refunds through the EITC and Child Tax Credit can help low- and moderate-income families cover day-to-day expenses such as utilities, rent, and child care. Families with three or more children also get an extra boost with a larger EITC this year.
The IRS estimates, however, that one-fourth of eligible people could miss out on the EITC because they don’t know about it, don’t know that they qualify, or don’t know where to find free tax filing assistance.
At CKEEP tax sites, IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers work one-on-one with families and individuals to help file their tax returns and ensure that they receive the tax credits for which they qualify. In addition, some sites can direct their customers to financial assistance programs, credit repair services or financial education classes.
“Workers who earned $53,000 or less in 2014 and were raising children should see if they qualify for the EITC,” said Erin Laws, financial stability specialist with United Way of the Bluegrass. “And single workers not raising children who earned less than $14,590 might qualify for a smaller EITC. But you must file a federal income tax return to claim the EITC—even if you don’t earn enough to owe any federal income taxes.”
In 2014, more tax filers than ever before filed for EITC, which accounted for $2.4 million in tax refunds being returned to Central Kentuckians. The average income of a CKEEP client was $20,934, and the average refund was $1,674, accounting for nearly 8 percent of their annual household income.
Central Kentucky residents can go to www.uwbg.org/CKEEP or call 2-1-1 after receiving their W2s to see if they qualify and schedule a free tax appointment.