On Earned Income Tax Credit Day Jan. 31, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and free tax help specialists with First State Community Action Agency, the United Way of Delaware and Nehemiah Gateway Community Development Corporation encouraged Delawareans to see if they are eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit and free tax filing help.
In 2019, 72,000 Delawareans received an average EITC refund of $2,409. Delawareans who worked last year and had an income of less than $55,952 should check their eligibility for EITC through the Internal Revenue Service’s EITC Assistant tool. For some families, it can mean up to a $6,557 refund for Delawareans filing a return with qualifying children. Those without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $529.
Taxpayers whose household income was $57,000 or less with dependents or $38,000 without dependents in 2019 are eligible for free, in-person tax preparation help through the IRS VITA/EITC program administered by Nehemiah Gateway Community Development Corporation. Delawareans who need help locating a free tax return preparation site can call 2-1-1 or 302-655-0803.
In addition, taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less in 2019 are eligible for free online tax preparation through the IRS Free File program. While each Free File partner sets its own eligibility standards, generally based on income, age and state residency, those with an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less will find at least one free product to use. To see all Free File options, go to www.IRS.gov/FreeFile.
“For decades, the Earned Income Tax Credit has helped families who are struggling to make ends meet hold onto as much of their hard-earned income as possible,” said Carper. “Filing taxes can be complicated and time-consuming, and many Delaware families might not know about the benefits they are entitled to claim. I encourage every Delawarean in need of assistance to seek out the free help that is available and avoid leaving money on the table this tax season.”
“The Earned Income Tax Credit has proven effective at helping hardworking families gain a boost in their finances. Without it, many families would struggle just to meet the demands of everyday life. However, many families aren’t aware that they qualify. That is why EITC awareness is so key,” said Bernice Edwards, executive director of First State Community Action Agency. “The IRS estimates that only four out of five eligible taxpayers claim and receive the Earned Income Credit. That means that 20 percent of eligible families are missing out. We want to ensure that all eligible families in Delaware receive this credit and are committed to helping them through the process.”