Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019
LAWRENCE – Free tax assistance is available for low- to moderate-income families and individuals at the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Inc. GLCAC’s tax team is ready to help anyone earning $55,000 or less complete their tax returns and file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can result in a substantial refund.
GLCAC’s trained, volunteer tax preparers are available by appointment on Monday - Thursday, between 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., at the agency’s 305 Essex Street offices. The GLCAC provides this free service as part of the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. To make an appointment, call 978-620-4669, between 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. The service is offered in English and Spanish.
Last year, GLCAC helped 440 people file their federal tax returns and receive more than $871,946 in refunds, or an average of about $1,982 per return. Of those, 164 filers qualified for nearly $283,950 in EITC refunds, or an average of about $1,731per return.
“Families and individuals are encouraged to file for tax refunds because the money returned to them can improve their financial footing. They can put the money toward savings, paying down debt, or making important purchases for their families. They are legally entitled to these tax refunds and receiving it can help put them on the road to financial stability,” said Evelyn Friedman, Executive Director of the GLCAC, a social services agency that annually assists 32,000 individuals in Greater Lawrence.
Regardless of the status of the federal government shutdown, taxpayers are expected to file their annual tax returns and the IRS will be accepting 2018 tax returns, which in Massachusetts are due April 17 (two days after the usual deadline because of holidays). The Earned Income Tax Credit provides a refund to taxpayers when the amount of the taxes owed is less than the EITC, but every year, millions of American families fail to file for the refund., according to the IRS.
For those with appointments, the following documents are required:
- A photo ID for each working adult
- Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer ID Number for each working adult and dependents
- All W-2 forms for jobs held in 2018; 1099 and other income forms (including unemployment statements)
- Interest and dividend statements from bank
- Copy of 2018 federal and state tax returns if available
- Proof of health insurance (form 1099HC, health insurance cards, or pay stubs)
- Birth dates for all persons claimed on tax returns
- Account and routing numbers for direct deposit or split refund