Help With Your Tax Returns

As tax season begins to get underway, I wanted to share some information and resources that may be of assistance to you.

To begin, you should be aware that, if your family earned $49,078 or less last year in wages, you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This credit can be as much as $5,751; however, you must claim credit in order to receive it. To check if you qualify, visit IRS.gov/eitc.  The EITC is widely regarded as the most effective anti-poverty tax credit offered by the federal government.

As you go to file your taxes, if you have an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or lower – which 70 percent of all taxpayers do – IRS.gov has free tax software that you can download to assist with your filing. Additionally, anyone may file for free online using the electronic version of IRS paper forms, called Free File forms. These forms can assist you with preparing your taxes and helping to make calculations, and they are available online right now.

The Sacramento Coalition for Working Families has a series of events where a team of tax preparers will be available to assist tax filers in completing and submitting their tax returns. Assistance will be available by appointment only. You can click here to see a list of locations and times, and dial 211 to make an appointment.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program also offers free tax preparation and electronic filing to individuals making $50,000 or less, or senior citizens over age 60. To locate a tax counseling site near you, click here or call 1-800-906-9887. The AARP Foundation also offers similar services. You can visit their website or call them at 1-888-227-7669 for more information.

As always, paper forms and instructions are available at many public offices, including local libraries and post offices. You can also request a free form to be mailed to you by calling 1-800-829-3676.

Please also note that this year, taxes will be due on Tuesday, April 17th, as April 15th will fall on a Sunday. After you file, you can track the status of your pending refund on the IRS’ Track My Refund website. You should be able to see the status of your refund 72 hours after the IRS has acknowledged receipt of your e-filed return, or three to four weeks after your have mailed it.

If you have any questions regarding federal tax preparations, IRS help lines are available to individuals at 1-800-829-1040, or business at 1-800-829-4933. As always, you should also feel free to contact my office at (916) 498-5600.