More Workers in Central Kentucky Eligible for Federal Tax Refund Dollars
January 28, 2015 - Lexington, KY - Local residents can receive valuable help this tax season through the Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Project (CKEEP), which is providing free tax preparation assistance at 17 tax sites around Central Kentucky. 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% of their annual household income.
“Why pay when you can get your taxes done for free?” Erin asks. “Many workers pay tax preparers high fees and face excessive interest on refund anticipation loans. Our tax assistance sites help families maximize their tax credits and use them to make ends meet or save for the future. It’s fast, too. Tax filers, who choose to e-file, generally get their refund within in 7 – 10 days.”
Tax assistance is available at various sites around Central Kentucky, Monday—Saturday, starting January 28, 2015 through April 15, 2015. 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.
The Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Project (CKEEP) is a financial stability program of United Way of the Bluegrass, Community Action Council and various partner organizations across Central Kentucky.
About United Way of the Bluegrass:
United Way of the Bluegrass is a leader and motivator of change for long-term solutions for Central Kentucky communities. We have a Big Bold Goal that 10,000 more families in the Bluegrass will be self-sufficient by 2020. This is a community goal and one that we can accomplish together. United Way has committed to four key drivers for community and economic success: Basic Needs, School Readiness, Student Success and Financial Stability. To learn more, visit www.uwbg.org.
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Vice President, Marketing - United Way of the Bluegrass