Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Free Community Tax Service 2016

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 Click here to download the 2016 brochure (pdf)
  
  

>> Read about the 2016 results


The Free Community Tax Service can help low- and moderate-income residents (in tax year 2015, those who made less than $54,000) file their federal and Indiana tax returns for FREE and claim the EITC, if eligible. The Free Community Tax Service offers full-service sites, a self-service site, mobile sites, and online filing with myfreetaxes.com.

The EITC, one of the government’s largest anti-poverty programs, is a refundable federal income tax credit for low- and moderate-income working individuals and families. 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 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.
 

United Way and the Financial Stability Alliance are proud to work with several local community organizations to help local residents retain more of their earnings. In 2016, the Free Community Tax Service sites and nearly 200 volunteers filed over 3,030 federal returns for free, which saved Monroe, Owen, and Greene county residents as much as $925,000 in tax preparation fees and brought back millions of dollars to our community. The Free Community Tax Service continues to expand each year to better serve area residents.

YOUR TAXES — 4 WAYS! Choose the option that is best for you:
> Full-Service Sites
> Self-Service Sites
> Mobile Sites
> MyFreeTaxes.com

No matter which way you choose to file, make sure you come prepared. The checklist below will help you make sure you have everything you need!


Earned Income Tax Credit Information:
What is the the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?
Are You Eligible for the EITC?
How much of an EITC refund can you get?

Free Community Tax Service Information:
What do I need to bring with me to the tax assistance site?
Where can I get more information?
Who are the community partners?

Where can I find additional helpful financial information?


Full-Service Sites

Get one-on-one tax preparation by a Certified Tax Preparer. Interpreters are available at some sites. Some sites are by appointment only -- be sure to check ahead.
   
** Check back in January 2017 for updated listing **




Self-Service Site

File your own taxes electronically using an on-site computer. Certified tax preparers are there in case you have questions. This is a great way to learn how to prepare your own taxes online knowing help is available.

 

** Check back in January 2017 for updated listing **

 


Mobile Sites

Free Community Tax Service is on the road! To better serve every resident in our community, we are taking the Free Community Tax Service to area social services agencies, churches, and community centers.



MyFreeTaxes.com

File your taxes for free from the comfort of your own home — or anywhere with an internet connection! This online tool helps users prepare and file their federal and state taxes. Help is available on-line or phone. Returns can even be saved in-progress and finished later. For tax year 2015, your combined Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must be under $62,000 to receive this service free of charge.


Visit www.MyFreeTaxes.com for more information!
 


What do I need to bring with me to the tax assistance site?

You must bring the following to receive free tax help for tax year 2015:

  • Valid picture identification for taxpayer and spouse.
  • Social Security cards and birth dates for yourself, spouse, and dependents.
  • All W-2s, W-2Gs, 1099s and Social Security/Unemployment benefit statements related to income received during 2015.
  • If filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.


Additional information that may be required:

  • If claiming child and dependent care expenses: the name, address, and social security number or EIN (employer identification number) of the provider.
  • If a homeowner, a copy of your county real estate tax statement
  • If claiming the Indiana Renter’s Deduction: the name, address, and phone number of the landlord.
  • Any tax books received.
  • A copy of last year’s tax return.
  • All 1098s related to interest on student loans.
  • Out-of-pocket educational expenses for college.
  • Any donations to Indiana colleges.
  • Form 1095-A, B, or C (Affordable Health Care Statements).
  • For direct deposit of your refund, you must provide bank account and routing numbers.


What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can result in a significant income boost - in tax year 2015, up to $6,242 for those who qualify! The EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low- and moderate-income working individuals and families. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of taxes owed. Since it is a refundable credit, when the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.

The EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing, or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments.

To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be required to file a tax return.




Are you eligible for the EITC?

To be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in tax year 2015 you must:

  • Have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the past year. If you’re a nonresident alien, you must be married to a U.S. citizen or legal resident and filing a joint tax return.
  • Have no more than $3,400 in investment income.
  • File a joint tax return if married.
  • Live in the U.S. for more than half of the year.
  • Be 25-64 years of age, if you aren’t claiming any qualifying children (if you are claiming qualifying children, you can be any age).


In addition, your 2015 income (Adjusted Gross Income) cannot exceed:

If you are MARRIED filing jointly

  • $20,330 with no qualifying children
  • $44,651 with one qualifying child
  • $49,974 with two qualifying children
  • $53,267 with three or more qualifying children


If you are SINGLE, HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD, or WIDOWED

  • $14,820 with no qualifying children
  • $39,131 with one qualifying child
  • $44,454 with two qualifying children
  • $47,747 with three or more qualifying children


Also, to claim the EITC you cannot:

  • Be the qualifying child of another person.
  • Be the dependent of another person.
  • File Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (related to foreign earned income).


If you are claiming qualifying children, each child must:

  • Have a valid Social Security Number,
  • Be the taxpayer’s son, daughter, adopted child, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendent of any of these (e.g. grandchild, niece, or nephew).
  • Be under age 19 at the end of the year; under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student; or be any age if permanently and totally disabled.
  • Must live with you in the United States for more than half of the year.


How much of an EITC tax credit can you get?

For tax year 2015, the maximum EITC tax credits are:

  • $6,242 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,572 with two qualifying children
  • $3,373 with one qualifying child
  • $506 with no qualifying children


Where can I get more information?


Who are the community partners?

United Way of Monroe County is the lead convener and sponsor of the Free Community Tax Service. This is one component of our financial stability initiatives. Services funded by United Way have a broad reach – touching 1 in 3 community members each year. To learn more about how United Way can assist you, visit www.MonroeUnitedWay.org/HowWeHelp.


Along with the United Way of Monroe County and  the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana, partners of the 2016 Free Community Tax Service include 2-1-1, AARP, Ascend, Bloomington Housing Authority, Broadview Learning Center, City of Bloomington, Ellettsville Branch Library, Indiana Legal Services, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Internal Revenue Service, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, Kroger, LifeDesigns, Monroe County Public Library, New Leaf–New Life, Owen County Public Library, Positive Link, South Central Community Action Program, St. Paul's Catholic Church, Stone Belt, Twin Lakes Recreation Center, Walmart, WorkOne Bloomington, and community volunteers.

2016 Lead Partners

 

2016 Sponsors

Hopscotch Coffee

 

  • Born Learning
  • Financial Stability Alliance
  • Monroe Smart Start
  • Familywize Discount Prescription Card
  • Need Help? Dial 2-1-1
  • Bank On Bloomington