MALDEF

MALDEF Strongly Encourages Millions of Working Latinos to File for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit

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Following is the main text of this month's newsletter.

APRIL 13, 2009 – It is not too late to benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a significant tax break available to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants alike. This important tax credit is often overlooked and sadly millions of qualified Latinos miss the opportunity to take advantage of billions of dollars in valuable benefits. The EITC is an effective way to improve the financial situation of people who work but earn low wages, and has no effect on determining eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, low-income housing, or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families payments.

Even if you paid no federal income tax you may be entitled to receive up to $4,824. To find out quickly if you qualify, please go to www.IRS.gov/eitc, to use the online guide which provides a worksheet to help you estimate your credit amount. If you meet the qualifying test, fill out the 1040 or 1040A form and file, or for families with children, fill out the EIC form and file it with your 1040 or 1040A form.

Also, please be aware that if you earned less than $56,000, you qualify to use the IRS free file system. With this you can download tax software to prepare and file a simple return. Go to www.IRS.gov and click on the free-file system. If you prefer to meet with someone in person, and you earned $42,000 or less, you can also take advantage of free help from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Centers in schools and community centers nationwide with Spanish speaking volunteers. You can also call the IRS and schedule a free appointment to file your income tax return. To find a VITA Center near you or to schedule an appointment with someone there or with an IRS agent, please call 1-800-829-1040 and ask for Individual Accounts. You can also acquire all forms at the public library or post office.

If you have used an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and now have a social security number, you can go back three years and amend your returns using your social security number to receive EITC and maybe even other credits you now qualify for. Unfortunately, a lot of people forget to amend their taxes once they get their social security number and lose out on that money. In these difficult economic times, every dollar helps,so if you have earned it, please claim it!

This MALDEF Latino Financial Empowerment message is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For more information please go to www.aecf.org.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund