Did you know you may find free tax assistance and accessible online tools to help you file for Earned Income Tax Credit?

Congress enacted the Earned Income Tax Credit in 1975 to assist working families and individuals. Many people do not realize they are eligible, and according to the IRS, one out of five eligible people do not claim the credit.

Households with earned income of less than $51,567 in 2013 may qualify to claim the EITC and could be eligible to receive tax refunds of as much as $6,044 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The EITC’s worth varies depending on family size and filing status, so it is essential that workers find out if they qualify, especially if their financial, marital or parental statuses have changed in the past year. Even if workers do not need to file federal tax returns based on salary, they must do so to claim the credit.

In recognition of EITC Awareness Day on January 31, Goodwill Industries International is partnering with the IRS to assist people around the country who may qualify to file for EITC. In addition to offering free tax preparation services at many local agencies, Goodwill® has created a new free online calculator to help people determine whether or not they qualify for the tax credit.

People have used the EITC to pay for necessities such as rent, bills, and home and vehicle repairs and maintenance. In some cases, the tax credit has been put toward large purchases, such as a home or car, and long-term investments, such as savings, obtaining additional education or training, or retirement.

Goodwill is partnering with National Disability Institute and United Way to expand free online tax preparation and filing assistance to qualified individuals. Funded by the Walmart Foundation, MyFreeTaxes.com is a free online option to file. MyFreeTaxes has helped families and individuals claim nearly $6 billion in tax credits and refunds since 2009. Additionally, Goodwill has created a new tool this year to help people see if they qualify for EITC. Starting January 6 on MyFreeTaxes.com, the online EITC calculator allows people to quickly enter their tax filing information and see if they qualify for the tax credit.

“With the economic recovery still fragile, many Americans are struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families,” said William J. Forrester, President and CEO of Goodwill NY-NJ. “The Earned Income Tax Credit is an extraordinarily effective tool at lifting people out of poverty, and Goodwill is committed to making sure all eligible individuals and families have a chance to claim the credits they have earned.”

By claiming the tax credits they have earned this year, millions of hardworking Americans will be able to improve their financial stability and better care for their families.

Goodwill’s mission is to provide job training, and career and community-based services to people with disabilities, those who lack education or work experience, and others who face challenges to finding employment.

To access Goodwill’s free EITC calculator and other EITC planning tools, visit MyFreeTaxes.com.

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