Helpful Tax Tips
Tax season is Wednesday, January 30 to Monday, April 15 this year and I wanted to provide you with some useful information as you prepare to file your taxes.
Free Tax Prep
If you earned $51,000 or less in 2012, you may be eligible for free tax preparation services by IRS-certified volunteers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA volunteers are trained to help you receive your full refund. This includes the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), federal tax credits for low- and moderate-income workers. You can check the box below to determine your eligibility.
To find the closest VITA site, you can call 1-800-906-9887 or visit http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/.
|Am I Eligible? How Big a Tax Credit Can I Get?*|
|For the EIC, if you have:||Earned income less than:||Claim an EIC up to:|
|3 or more children||$45,060||$5,891|
|For the CTC, if you have:||Earned more than:||Claim a CTC up to:|
|1 or more children||$3,000||$1,000 per child|
|EIC income limits for married workers are $5,210 higher than for single workers|
|*Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities|
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
The TCE Program offers free tax help from IRS-certified volunteers for all with priority assistance to people 60 and older. Volunteers specialize in questions unique to seniors, including pension and retirement issues. Many TCE sites are operated by the AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide Program. To locate the nearest TCE site, call 888-227-7669.
What To Bring for Free Tax Prep
- Valid picture ID
- Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Card for you, your spouse, and any children
- W-2s, 1098s, 1099s and any other tax forms received for 2012
- Last year's tax form (helpful, but not required)
- Blank check for direct deposit (optional)
If you don't have all of these documents, call the IRS helpline at 1-800-829-1040 to find out what you need to do and get replacements.
Other Helpful Resources
- Frequently downloaded forms, including W-9 and 1040
- IRS California Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs): TACs offer personal tax help when you don't think your issue can be resolved over the phone or online.
- Taxpayer Advocate: Free help to help with resolving tax problems that you can't figure out on your own.
- Student Tax Filing Help: Information from the Department of Education about how to handle tax forms for your Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If there is any way that Congressman Farr's office can be of assistance during tax season, please don't hesitate to call 831-424-2229 or visit my office at 100 West Alisal Street, Salinas.