Thousands in Northern Nevada Overlook Valuable Tax Credit
Thousands of northern Nevadans may be eligible for a special tax credit this year and not even be aware of it. As a result, these individuals could miss the opportunity to collect up to $5,891 extra in their federal income tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). United Way Northern Nevada and the Sierra (UWNNS) encourages any worker who earned $51,000 or less from wages, is self-employed or works in the farming industry to determine if they qualify.
EITC is one of the federal government's largest benefit programs for working families and individuals. Last year, more than 210,000 Nevadans filed for EITC and the average credit was more than $2,100 per person. Historically, one in five workers have missed out on thousands of dollars every year because they fail to claim their EITC.
"This money can make a real difference to workers struggling in this recovering economy" said Karen Barsell, CEO and president of UWNNS. "Many people will qualify for the first time this year due to changes in their economic circumstances."
To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they do not have a filing requirement. Potentially qualifying taxpayers include workers who are:
living in rural areas
receiving certain disability pensions or have children with disabilities
without a qualifying child
not proficient in English
grandparents raising their grandchildren
recently divorced, unemployed, or who experienced other changes to their marital, financial or parental status.
Free help from IRS trained volunteers is available to EITC-eligible taxpayers in northern Nevada though volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sites. For a complete list of locations and hours, visit www.nevada211.org or call 2-1-1 for more information. If taxpayers would like additional information about EITC, they can visit irs.gov and type "EITC" in their preferred search engine.
To help accurately determine EITC eligibility and prepare returns, individuals should have available:
Photo proof of identification
Social Security cards for themselves, their spouse and all dependents or Social Security number verification letters issued by the Social Security Administration
Birth dates for all persons listed on the tax return
Wage and earning statement(s) Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R, from all employers
Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
Copies of their prior year federal and state returns, if available
Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit of their refunds
Other relevant information about income and expenses
Amounts paid for day care, if applicable, and the day care provider's identifying number.
Both spouses must be present to sign joint returns. Anyone paid to prepare federal income tax returns is required by law to sign the return and enter their Preparer Tax Identification Number.