ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each year, millions of people do not claim valuable tax credits, simply because they are not aware that they qualify. That is why Goodwill® works with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to educate the public about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which can mean thousands of dollars back in taxpayers' pockets. Friday, January 29 marks the 10th anniversary of EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which has been in effect for more than 40 years.
The EITC is available to millions of people with low or moderate incomes. In order to claim EITC, people must file a tax return and claim the credit, even if the IRS doesn't require a tax return due a low income.
"To take the worry out of tax filing, some Goodwill locations offer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, also known as VITA sites," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "IRS-trained volunteers will prepare and electronically file tax returns for free." In 2014, 65 Goodwill locations hosted VITA sites or supported MyFreeTaxes.com as affiliate partners, helping more than 40,000 people prepare their taxes at low or no cost.
The IRS estimates that four out of five eligible taxpayers claim and receive the EITC, but millions still miss out, usually because they are newly qualified or aren't required to file tax returns. Taxpayers with household incomes of less than $54,000 in 2015 may be eligible for the credit, which can total up to $6,242 for households with three or more qualifying children. Filers with no children can get back up to $503.
"Goodwill encourages you to find out if you are eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit," said Gibbons. "The EITC can provide a much-needed boost in income that can be used for long-term savings for education or retirement as well as household expenses like rent or bills."
In 2015, according to the IRS, 27 million people received more than $65 billion in EITC refunds. The average payout was more than $2,400.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based member organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of America's 20 most inspiring companies (Forbes, 2014). Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that help fund skills development, job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,000 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Goodwill also keeps textiles and other goods out of landfills. Local Goodwill organizations also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and the government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food services preparation, and document imaging and shredding. Last year, more than 426,000 people in the United States and Canada used Goodwill's intensive one-on-one career services to prepare for employment. In addition, more than 24 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills.
To learn more or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at Goodwill.org, use the Goodwill Locator app at goodwill.org/apps, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter:@GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl.
SOURCE Goodwill Industries International