Get More Taxes Back, and Avoid Costly Refund Anticipation Loans this Tax Season

Jan 29, 2010, 11:41 ET from Goodwill Industries International

Check if You're Eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Goodwill Industries International urges workers to check whether they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) today, EITC Awareness Day. EITC can be the financial boost families need in these tough economic times —- providing tax breaks to working people who earn low or moderate incomes, whether single or married, and resulting in as much as $5,657 in refunds for some families.


Through a partnership with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Goodwill® will offer free tax preparation Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites nationwide to workers who earn low incomes and individuals with disabilities, among others.

In supporting an array of efforts to help workers, so that they have more funds available to cover essential family expenses, Goodwill also encourages people to avoid high-interest, short-term Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs). According to the Consumer Federation of America, RALs drained the refunds of nearly 9 million employees who earned low incomes in 2008, costing them $900 million.  

"Goodwill hopes qualified workers will take advantage of the free tax preparation services at VITA sites," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "The IRS estimates that nearly 20 to 25 percent of eligible families still don't claim the credit and we need to make sure that working families get back every dollar for which they are eligible to help cover transportation costs, education, and food, and to save for long-term expenses such as housing, education and other family expenses."

Gibbons added, "We are also doing our best to encourage hard working Americans to avoid the pitfalls of refund anticipation loans, which offer quick access to refunds, but at a high cost that is ultimately detrimental to individuals and their families."

In 2009, Goodwills across the country helped put more than $10 million in the pockets of hard-working families through the EITC. In addition, they prepared more than 19,000 returns, 1,700 of those for people with disabilities. Families are able to file for the EITC as far back as three years if they have not previously filed. More than 100 Goodwill agencies across the United States are engaged in tax preparation services and providing information on tax credits.

"Goodwill is ideally positioned to reach the target population of these workers so that they can correctly identify themselves as eligible for the credit, file a tax return and benefit from these refunds," said Gibbons.

Goodwill's goal is to help individuals receive the tax refunds they are due from the federal government — without loans, fees or interest charges.

For more information about the EITC, visit,,id=96406,00.html

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Goodwill Industries International is a network of 180 community-based, independent agencies in the United States, Canada, and 13 other countries. One of the nation's top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands as well as a leading social services enterprise, Goodwill generates opportunities for people to achieve economic stability and build strong families and vibrant communities by offering job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face other challenges to finding employment. To pay for its programs, Goodwill sells donated clothes and other household items in more than 2,300 retail stores and online at Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. More than 1.5 million people in the United States and Canada have benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 84 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find your local Goodwill, use the online locator at  or call (800) 664-6577.

SOURCE Goodwill Industries International