Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Free Tax Filing and Earned Income Tax Credit Help Available

Free Tax Filing and Earned Income Tax Credit Help Available for Local Residents
   
Bloomington, Ind. -- Starting January 30th, Monroe
and Owen county residents can file their taxes for free and receive 100% of their refund quickly and easily – usually in just 10 days or less. The Free Community Tax Service, led by United Way of Monroe County and the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana along with community partners, is ready to help Hoosiers file their taxes at no cost and claim valuable credits.

Throughout the tax season, IRS-certified volunteers will help low- and moderate-income residents file their federal and Indiana tax returns for free, claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if eligible, and receive their full refund quickly. The Free Community Tax Service is offering ten full-service tax prep sites in 2018 and an online filing option with MyFreeTaxes.com.

According to Amy Leyenbeck, Community Initiatives Director, "This year the Free Community Tax Service is bigger than ever. We’ve added two new full-service sites which will expand capacity to help our community keep more of their earnings, get back the refunds and tax credits they deserve, and build their assets and savings," said Leyenbeck.

The Earned Income Tax Credit
EITC Awareness Day is January 26, 2018. The EITC, one of the government’s largest anti-poverty programs, is a refundable federal income tax credit for low- and moderate-
incomeworking individuals and families. In 2017, Indiana workers received $1.3 billion dollars in EITC refunds, an average of $2,424 per return filed. Residents who worked last year and had income of less than $53,267 from wages, running a business or farm, or from Form 1099 MISC, should check their eligibility for EITC.

Unfortunately, 1 out of 5 people who are eligible don’t claim their credit. When the EITC is claimed, it can result in a significant income boost - up to $6,318 for those who qualify. Claiming the EITC is particularly important at a time when more workers may qualify due to reduced incomes. In order to claim the EITC, residents must file their tax returns, even if they are not required to file for another reason.

Bilingual tax preparation assistance available
New this year, the City of Bloomington has joined the Free Community Tax Service team to
 host
a full service Spanish Language tax site. Certified bilingual volunteers will help Spanish speaking residents file their taxes for free every week during tax season. For Spanish-speaking assistance, please call (812) 349-3860.

Scheduling appointments
Also new in 2018, The Free Community Tax Service is introducing online appointment booking. Visitors to the Free Community Tax Service website can schedule an appointment for face-to-face personal tax assistance at one of the full-service Free Community Tax Service sites. To best serve residents, some sites accept walk-ins and others require reservations. Monroe County Public Library and Twin Lakes Recreational Center will continue to serve residents on a walk-in basis.

Free online filing option
Area residents with a combined Adjusted Gross Income of $66,000 or less may file state and federal returns at no charge – anytime, anywhere – at www.MyFreeTaxes.com. Returns can be saved in-progress and finished later, and help is available online or by phone. Unlike other online services claiming to be free, users will not experience pop-up ads that try to persuade them to pay for
 an
upgraded version, or be charged additional fees for special tax forms like Schedules C or F. MyFreeTaxes.com is really, truly free.

Community Impact
In 2017, the Free Community Tax Service sites and 130 volunteers filed over 2,400 federal and state returns for free, which saved low- and moderate-income Monroe
and Owen county residents about $705,000 in tax preparation fees and brought back millions of dollars in refunds and credits to our community. Local residents reported last year they were using their savings to pay bills, purchase food and clothing, and get further on the road to financial stability by putting their refund in savings.

Community Partners
Along with United Way of Monroe County and the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana, partners of the Free Community Tax Service include 2-1-1, AARP, Broadview Learning Center, Chinese Business Association, City of Bloomington, Ellettsville Branch Library, Indiana Legal Services, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Internal Revenue Service, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, Monroe County Public Library, Owen County Public Library, South Central Community Action Program, Stone Belt, Twin Lakes Recreation Center, and 130 community volunteers.

For more information
To learn more about the Free Community Tax Service, free tax preparation sites dates and times, a tax preparation checklist, the EITC, and to see if they qualify, residents can call 2-1-1 or visit www.MonroeUnitedWay.org/FreeTaxes

 

Do you want to strengthen earnings in our community?

Please consider donating to the United Way Earnings Priority Fund. This fund helps hard working individuals and families get ahead by increasing their job skills and income potential, providing financial education, and building economic stability and independence.

Want to learn more about the other building blocks for a good life? Visit Education and Essentials to see how we are making an impact.



 

Related: 
  • Born Learning
  • Financial Stability Alliance
  • Monroe Smart Start
  • Familywize Discount Prescription Card
  • Bank On Bloomington