Senator Carper Raises Awareness of Earned Income Tax Credit and Free Tax Preparation Help
GEORGETOWN, Del. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined representatives from
Delaware Tax and Financial Services Campaign to educate Delawareans on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax preparing services throughout the state. Today marks EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites. For tax year 2016, 12,200 Delaware households received free tax preparation services and $18 million in federal and state refunds.
“For decades, the Earned Income Tax Credit has helped families who are struggling to make ends meet hold onto as much of their hard-earned income as possible,” said Senator Carper. “Filing taxes can be very complicated, and many Delaware families find it difficult to know the benefits they’re entitled to claim. That’s why local organizations that provide help with tax filing are so important. I encourage every Delawarean in need of assistance to seek out the free help they need and avoid leaving money on the table this tax season.”
The Delaware Tax and Financial Services Campaign was founded by Nehemiah Gateway Community Development Corporation in partnership with Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement, First State Community Action Agency and $tand By Me. The program is funded by the VITA Grant Program, an IRS initiative designed to promote and support free tax preparation services for the underserved.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit has been a bipartisan effort that’s proven effective to help hard-working families gain a boost in their finances,” said Bernice Edwards, Executive Director of First State Community Action Agency. “Without it, many low-income families will continue struggling just to meet the demands of everyday life. What’s worse is qualifying for the credit and not knowing it. That is why EITC awareness is so key — it’s important for the financial health and well-being of the families who truly need it and have worked extremely hard for it.”
“Since its inception the Earned Income Tax program has been a major resource in empowering the working poor,” said Reverend Clifford Johnson, Founder of Nehemiah Gateway Community Development Corporation. “Each year thousands of tax payers look to the many volunteers to assist them with tax preparation as well as aiding them to secure the returns that will improve their quality of life. As part of a coalition, Nehemiah Gateway strives to serve additional families that are not currently participating in the EITC program.”
Delawareans can learn more about the EITC and free tax preparation sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/find-a-location-for-free-tax-prep. Those seeking assistance should bring the following documents:
- Social Security cards, or a Social Security number verification letter (must list full social security number), or a social security benefits statement, or an IRS transcript for all persons you may list on the return.
- Birth dates for all persons you may list on return.
- Copies of last year’s federal and state returns, if you have them.
- All income statements: Forms W-2 and 1099, Social Security, unemployment and other statements, such as pensions, stocks, interest and any documents showing taxes withheld. If you own or run a business or farm, collect records of all your income to be presented at time of filing.
- All records of expenses, such as tuition, mortgage interest, or real estate taxes. If you own or run a business or farm, collect records of all your expenses to be presented at time of filing.
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit any refund.
- Dependent child care information: name and address of paid caretakers and either their Social Security number or other tax identification number.
- If you purchased coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement (1095-A).