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Tax Tips

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project - CLEAR Intake Line LSC Funded
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Read this before you start on your taxes! Learn about how to get the most money back. #0904EN

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You have until Wednesday, April 15, 2020, or, if you file for an extension, until October 15, 2020, to file your 2019 taxes.

Beware of Refund Anticipation Loans (RAL's), Fast Cash Refunds, Express Refunds and Instant Refunds.

These cost a lot. They are not much faster. They are risky!

  • They are short-term loans. They have high interest rates and/or fees. They can range from 40% to 700% APR (annual percentage rate).

  • They may arrive only about a week before IRS refunds do.

  • If the IRS denies your tax refund, you still have to pay back the full amount of the loan plus interest!

Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal income tax credit for working people and families with low incomes. To get this, both of these must be true for you and any children you claim:

  • You all have valid Social Security numbers.

  • You all lived in the U.S. for at least six months in 2019.

  • Any investment income you have must be $3,500 or less for the year. 

*To claim the EITC, you must file a tax return. 

Am I eligible to get the EITC?

Maybe, if your income in 2019 was less than:

  • $50,162 ($55,952 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children

  • $46,703 ($52,493 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children

  • $41,094 ($46,884 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child

  • $15,570 ($21,370 married filing jointly)with no qualifying children

How much EITC can I get?

EITC varies from $529 to $6,557. It depends on income and family size.

Can I get EITC if I owe taxes?

Yes. If the EITC is more than the amount of taxes you owe, you will get a tax refund after you file a tax return.

Do not pay to do your taxes!

There are free tax preparation and filing services:

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax filing services for people with low incomes. For help near you, call 1-877-211-9274 or 211.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly has free tax help for ages 60 and older.  For help near you, call 1-888-227-7669, or visit www.aarp.org.

You can file your taxes online for free at www.irs.gov (using the free file program) or TaxACT at taxact.com. Your local library and Employment Security Office (WorkSource) have free internet.


 

This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities.  It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.
© 2020 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014

(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.)

Last Review and Update: Jan 06, 2020
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