State Agencies Join Hands with Albany Mayor, IRS and Nonprofits to Raise Statewide Awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Provide Free Tax Preparation Assistance in Albany
National EITC Awareness Day is January 31; Benefit can be as high as $8,159 for working families
January 30, 2014 - The New York State Tax Department and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) today encouraged all eligible taxpayers to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit – a refundable credit that benefits millions of New Yorkers each year. The IRS estimates that as many as one in five eligible workers overlook the EITC when filing income taxes. The two agencies also announced free tax preparation assistance at locations in Albany.
“As the tax season begins this year, free tax preparation and earned income tax credits are spotlight examples of volunteers, nonprofit organizations and New York State working together on behalf of communities statewide,” said City of Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “If your income is under $52,000, please consider visiting one of these sites for assistance with your taxes and to see if you’re eligible for valuable credits and benefits.”
Earned Income Tax Credit
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal and state income tax credit available to working individuals and families with an adjusted gross income less than $51,567 in 2013. EITC benefits vary by income, family size, and filing status.
Eligible families with three or more qualifying children may receive up to the maximum benefit - $8,159.
“Last year, EITC was claimed by 1.8 million New Yorkers who received nearly $5 billion in federal, state and New York City benefits,” said OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud. “EITC helps low-income, working families achieve the financial stability they work so hard for throughout the year. We want to ensure no eligible individual or family misses out on the benefit of this important support.”
“Don’t miss out on your EITC benefits, which in New York State are among the most generous in the nation,” counseled New York State Taxpayer Rights Advocate Camille Siano Enders. “These are benefits you’ve earned and deserve, so don’t leave them on the table. Visit our Web sites or call us to learn more.”
Noncustodial Parent Earned Income Tax Credit
In 2006, New York became the first state in the nation to enact a noncustodial parent EITC. The refundable credit is yet another way that New York encourages low-income noncustodial parents to work and stay current with their child support payments.
In 2011, more than 7,600 noncustodial parents claimed $3.5 million in NCP EITC for an average refund of more than $460.
Tomorrow, on National EITC Awareness Day, staff from both agencies will be attending events across the state hosted by local nonprofit organizations.
For More Information: Noncustodial Parent New York State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Free Tax Preparation Assistance
Taxpayers with incomes below $52,000 are eligible for free tax preparation assistance at hundreds of locations across the state. In the Albany area, state agencies are offering services at the following locations and times through the April 15 filing deadline:
- OTDA Office - 40 North Pearl Street, Albany – lobby level (Monday – Friday in February and April, Tuesday – Thursday in March, 9 am – 4 pm)
- Empire State Plaza Concourse – near Key Bank (Tuesday – Thursday through April 15, 9 am – 3 pm)
The OTDA site offers individualized tax preparation by volunteers – at no cost. The Concourse site is a “Free Self-Assisted” location where computers are available for taxpayers to complete their own returns with the assistance of on-site Tax Department personnel.
In addition to answering questions and actually preparing the returns for taxpayers, personnel at the free locations ensure that taxpayers receive all of the benefits – including the Earned Income Tax Credit – for which they’re eligible.
“The filing deadline is April 15th this year, but don’t delay; file early to get your refund - and refundable credits - as soon as possible,” added OTDA Commissioner Proud.