January 23, 2015
Friday, January 30th is Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day. Virginia government, wonderful community groups and businesses across the Commonwealth have joined with the IRS in promoting the initiative.
EITC (sometimes called EIC) is a program that helps low income workers keep more of their income through credits resulting in a larger income tax refund. There are specific, detailed rules, and workers must have earned income and filed a tax return to qualify for the credit. All of this is more complicated than it sounds.
That’s where the EITC Awareness Day people come in with much needed help. The Virginia Department of Social Services is partnering with Virginia Community Action Partnership (VACAP) to support community groups and local coalitions through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to offer free tax help by IRS-certified volunteers to low income individuals and families. Many of these locations operate several days a week. Walk-ins are encouraged.
Since EITC is a refundable tax credit, applicants may get back more money than they actually paid in income tax. VACAP Deputy Director Carolyn Spohrer cites a “feeling of financial empowerment” along with a 100% refund to participants (no payment to a commercial tax preparer) and direct deposit capability for a faster refund as real, tangible benefits.
“The low-moderate income community is often under employed and information poor; therefore, they are vulnerable to the get your refund now scam,” says Willard Pretlow of the Hampton Roads STOP organization. “They require additional time to address special case scenarios and the proper claiming of dependents for maximum credit. Each case is different and the standard on-screen questionnaire (used by commercial tax preparers) does not cover all situations. The VITA Program is unique in that it is sensitive to the needs of the community.”
G. Russell “Rusty” Boleman and his wife, Gayle founded Boleman Law Firm in 1991 with the goal of treating everyone with respect and dignity, while providing excellence in customer service and legal advice. Today, Boleman Law is the largest and most well-known consumer bankruptcy law firm in Virginia, having helped over 106,000 Virginians in the last 23 years.
Rusty’s strong commitment to legal knowledge, ethics and community service has made him one of Virginia’s preeminent lawyers.
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