United Way is proud to work with several local community organizations to help local residents retain more of their earnings. The Free Community Tax Service provides free tax preparation and electronic filing of federal and Indiana tax returns for low- and moderate-income residents.
Additionally, the Free Community Tax Service will assist residents who are eligible to receive tax refunds from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC can result in a significant income boost- up to $6,242 for those who qualify! The EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low- and moderate-income working individuals and families. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of taxes owed. Since it is a refundable credit, when the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit. The EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing, or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments. To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be required to file a tax return.
Are you eligible for the EITC?
To be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) you must:
- Have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source
- Have a valid Social Security Number.
- Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the past year. If you’re a nonresident alien, you must be married to a U.S. citizen or legal resident and filing a joint tax return.
- Have no more than $3,400 in investment income.
- File a joint tax return if married.
- Live in the U.S. for more than half of the year.
- Be 25-64 years of age, if you aren’t claiming any qualifying children (if you are claiming qualifying children, you can be any age).
In addition, your 2015 income (Adjusted Gross Income) cannot exceed:
If you are MARRIED filing jointly
- $20,430 with no qualifying children
- $44,846 with one qualifying child
- $50,198 with two qualifying children
- $53,505 with three or more qualifying children
If you are SINGLE, HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD, or WIDOWED
- $14,880 with no qualifying children
- $39,296 with one qualifying child
- $44,648 with two qualifying children
- $47,955 with three or more qualifying children
Also, to claim the EITC you cannot:
- Be the qualifying child of another person.
- Be the dependent of another person.
- File Form 2555 or 2555-EZ
If you are claiming qualifying children, the child must:
- Have a valid Social Security Number,
- Be the taxpayer’s son, daughter, adopted child, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendent of any of these (e.g. grandchild, niece, or nephew).
- Be under age 19 at the end of the year; under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student; or be any age if permanently and totally disabled.
- Must live with you in the United States for more than half of the year.
How much of a refund can you get?
For tax year 2014, the maximum refunds are:
- $6,242 with three or more qualifying children
- $5,572 with two qualifying children
- $3,373 with one qualifying child
- $506 with no qualifying children
Where can you receive help?
You can visit any of these sites to receive free tax preparation assistance:
Broadview Learning Center, 705 West Coolidge Dr., Bloomington, Phone (812) 330-7731
Feb 3rd – April 14th (Call for appointment)
Wednesday – 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Thursday – 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Ellettsville Branch Library, 600 W. Temperance St., Ellettsville, Phone (812) 876-1272
Feb 4th – April 16th (Call for appointment)
Thursday – 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday – 10:30am to 12:30pm
Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 211 S. Indiana Ave., Bloomington
Feb 9th – March 23rd (Sign-up recommended. For more information visit http://law.indiana.edu/what/build-community/organizations/vita/)
Tuesday – 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Wednesday – 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Super Saturdays @ Kelley School of Business – February 17th and March 26th, 9:00am to 4:00pm
Ivy Tech Community College, 200 Daniels Way, Room B201, Bloomington (812) 332-1559 ext. 0
Jan 29th – March 5th (Call for appointment)
Friday – 12:00pm to 7:00pm
Saturday – 9:00am to 1:00pm
Monroe County Public Library, 303 East Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, Phone (812) 349-3050
Feb 1st – April 15th (First come, first served)
Monday – 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Tuesday – 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Friday – 2:00pm to 5:45pm
Owen County Public Library, 10 S. Montgomery St., Spencer, (812) 829-3392 ext. 1
Jan 26th – March 26th (Call for an appointment)
Tuesday – 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Thursday -12:00pm to 3:00pm
Saturday – 9:00am to 12:00pm
South Central Community Action Program, 1500 W. 15th St., Bloomington, Phone (812) 339-3447
Feb 4th – April 14th (Call for appointment)
Thursdays – 4:30pm to 7:30pm
Saturdays – 9:00am to 12:00pm
Twin Lakes Recreation Center, 1700 W. Bloomfield Rd., Bloomington, Phone (812) 349-3720
Feb 3rd – April 14th (First come, first served)
Wednesday – 9:00am to 2:30pm
Thursday – 2:00pm to 5:30pm
Where is a self-service site?
File your own taxes electronically using an on-site computer. Certified tax preparers are there in case you have questions. This is a great way to learn how to prepare your own taxes online knowing help is available
WorkOne Bloomington, 450 S. Landmark Ave., Bloomington, Phone (812) 331-6000 ext. 7001
Jan 29th – April 15th
Friday – 1:45pm to 4:15pm
eFile with MyFreeTaxes’ Option!
Now you can file your taxes for free from the comfort of your own home! This online tool helps users prepare and file their federal and state taxes for FREE. Your combined Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must be under $60,000 to receive this service free of charge.
Visit www.MyFreeTaxes.com to file your own taxes for free today!
Questions when using MyFreeTaxes? Call the help line at 1-855-My-Tx-Help from 10am – 10pm EST, Monday – Saturday.
What do I need to bring with me to the tax assistance site?
You must bring the following to receive free tax help:
- Valid picture identification for taxpayer and spouse.
- Social Security cards and birth dates for yourself, spouse, and dependents.
- All W-2s, W-2Gs, 1099s and Social Security/ Unemployment benefit statements related to income received during 2014.
- If filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
Additional information that may be required:
- If claiming child and dependent care expenses: the name, address, and social security number or EIN (employer’s identification number) of the provider.
- If claiming the Indiana Renter’s Deduction: the name, address, and phone number of the landlord.
- Forms 1095-A, B or C (Affordable Health Care Statements) if applicable.
- Any tax books received.
- A copy of last year’s tax return.
- For direct deposit of your refund, you must provide bank account and routing numbers.
- All 1098s related to interest on student loans.
- Out-of-pocket educational expenses for college.
- Any donations to Indiana colleges.
Where can I get more information?
- Call the individual sites or 2-1-1.
- Information in Spanish is available by calling (812)349-3860.
Who are the community partners?
United Way of Monroe County is the lead convener and sponsor of the Free Community Tax Service, as a component of its financial stability initiatives. Services funded by United Way have a broad reach – touching 1 in 3 community members each year. To learn more about how United Way can assist you, visit www.MonroeUnitedWay.org/HowWeHelp.
Along with the United Way of Monroe County and the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana, the community partners include 2-1-1, AARP, ASCEND, Bloomington Housing Authority, Broadview Learning Center, City of Bloomington, Ellettsville Branch Library, Indiana Legal Services, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Internal Revenue Service, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, LifeDesigns, Monroe County Public Library, New Leaf-New Life, Owen County Public Library, Positive Link, Recovery Engagement Center, South Central Community Action Program, Stone Belt, Twin Lakes Recreation Center, Walmart, WorkOne Bloomington, and community volunteers.