PLATTSBURGH — The IRS says four out of five eligible taxpayers can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit when filing tax refunds, so a nearby coalition is making sure the North Country gets on board.
The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, designated Friday, Jan. 31 as the 14th National Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day and, in recognition, the Coalition of the Adirondack Region announced its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and AARP Tax-Aide sites.
Those sites, to be located throughout Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, will offer free tax preparation to individuals and families with low-to moderate-income levels.
"If they qualify, people may be missing out on a federal refund of up to $6,557," United Way of the Adirondack Region Inc. Director of Development Kathy Snow says in a news release.
"Plus an additional New York State credit because they are not aware of the Earned Income Tax Credit."
Per the IRS website, the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, benefits working people who meet certain requirements.
Income requirements are based on a filer's marital status and number of kids.
For a single individual with no kids to qualify, their 2019 income would need to be under $15,570 and, for a married couple filing jointly, their joint income would need to be less than $21,370.
Adding eligible kids to the mix, a single person's income limit would gradually increase per child until capping off at $50,162 with three children.
For a couple, that income limit with three kids was set at $55,952.
The IRS also listed Earned Income Tax Credit stipulations other than income levels.
Some factors included residency and age, requiring that the filer live in the U.S. for at least half of the year, while also being at least 25 years old, but less than 65 years old.
For kids to qualify, the revenue service said, at the end of the filing year, they have to be younger than the filer and, in the case of joint filing, be younger than the filer's spouse, as well.
They also must live with the filer and be under the age of 19 or, if a full-time student, under the age of 24.
Special rules were also included for military members and clergy members, as well as taxpayers with certain disability incomes and/or children with disabilities.
The full list of guidelines can be found online at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit/do-i-qualify-for-earned-income-tax-credit-eitc.
The Coalition of the Adirondack Region has offered the North Country information, education and help with tax refunds for more than 15 years.
Its members include:
• The United Way of the Adirondack Region Inc.
• Adirondack Community Action Programs Inc
• Senior Citizens Council of Clinton County
• Office for the Aging
• Department of Social Services
• Retired & Senior Volunteer Program
• Joint Council for Economic Opportunity, Inc.
• AARP Foundation-Tax Aide
• The Internal Revenue Service
• UFirst Federal Credit Union
• North Country Community College
• SeaComm Federal Credit Union
• Clinton Community College
• SUNY Plattsburgh
MILLIONS IN REFUNDS
The coalition announced multiple locations and times when IRS-certified volunteer preparers would be accessible to electronically file returns — even if filers did not qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Interested parties should call 2-1-1 for those sites, schedules and information.
"Since the coalition started doing free tax preparation in 2004, the volunteer tax sites have done approximately 53,500 federal tax returns," Snow says in the release, adding that the returns yielded about $63 million in federal tax refunds.
"Our coalition is working hard to promote the service and reach eligible people and families throughout the region."
Email McKenzie Delisle:
Walk-in sessions will be held at the Senior Citizens Council located at 5139 North Catherine St. in the City of Plattsburgh with parking available on Court and Brinkerhoff streets.
Between Monday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Feb. 29., those sessions will be held Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Between Sunday, March 1 and Tuesday, March 31, the walk-in sessions will be held Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Between Wednesday, April 1 and Friday, April 10, the walk-in sessions will be held Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
SeaCom Federal Credit Union at 130 Smithfield Blvd. in the Town of Plattsburgh will have on-site tax assistance on Saturday, Feb. 29 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Call 1-800-764-0566 to schedule an appointment.
UFirst Federal Credit Union at 274 Rugar Street in the Town of Plattsburgh will host one, as well, as Saturday, March 14 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Call 518-324-0611 to schedule an appointment.
The Hague Community Center at 9793 Graphite Mountain Road in the Town of Hague will have on-site tax assistance on the Tuesdays and Thursdays between Tuesday, Feb. 4 and Thursday, April 10.
Those sessions are by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 518-543-6161 to schedule an appointment.
North Country Community College will have on-site tax assistance at its Ticonderoga Campus at 11 Hawkeye Trail in the Town of Ticonderoga on Friday, Feb. 7, Friday, Feb. 21, Friday, March 6, Friday, March 20 and Friday, April 3.
Those sessions will be by appointment only between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 518-543-6161 to schedule an appointment.
There will be on-site tax assistance at the Lake Placid Public Library at 2471 Main Street in the Village of Lake Placid from Thursday, Jan. 27 to Tuesday, March 24.
Those sessions will be by appointment only. Call 518-523-3200 to schedule an appointment.
Malone OneWorkSource at 158 Finney Blvd. will have on-site tax assistance by appointment only from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. on the Wednesdays and Thursdays between Thursday, Jan. 27 and Wednesday, April 15.
Call 518-481-5755 to schedule an appointment.
Goff Nelson Memorial Library at 41 Lake St. in Tupper Lake will host walk-in sessions between 10 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on the Saturdays between Saturday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, April 11.
Call 518-359-5012 for more information.
SeaComm Federal Credit Union at 3349 Route 11 in Malone will have on-site tax assistance on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Call 1-800-764-0566 to schedule an appointment.
WHAT TO BRING
The Coalition of the Adirondack Region announced Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and AARP Tax-Aide sites throughout Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.
The coalition said attendees should bring the following:
• Photo ID, either New York State Driver's License or State ID. If married and filing jointly, a spouse must be present with their own photo ID, as well.
• Social Security Cards and birth dates for singles, spouses and any dependents.
• W-2 forms for all jobs held in 2019, as well as information for all other income.
• Forms 1099, broker statements, forms 1095-A, B or C.
• Copy of prior year's tax return.
• Proof of bank account for direct deposit.