U.S.

April 11, 2014

Tax season deadline looms, free filing available

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Richard Johnson
Director, March ARB Tax Center

taxes-art
On April 15, the regular tax season comes to an end. Unless you qualify for an automatic extension (deployed anytime from Jan. 1 – April 15, 2014), or you file for an extension, you need to have filed your return. Why not let your March ARB Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center prepare and e-file your federal and state returns for free? It’s time to ensure you’re ready to get the most out of your filing. We’re here to help you so call and set up an appointment with us.

Since our doors opened this tax season, we’ve prepared and filed approximately 600 returns, saving nearly $70,000 in preparation fees and receiving back over $700,000 in combined state and federal returns. “There are numerous deductions and credits available for this tax year,” said Lt. Col. Deric Prescott, Staff Judge Advocate. “We try and ensure every one of our clients makes use of each and every benefit to which they are entitled.” One such credit is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a financial boost for people working hard to make ends meet. Millions of workers may qualify for the first time this year due to changes in their marital, parental or financial status.

The EITC is a refundable tax credit. This means taxpayers may get money back, even if they have no tax withheld. Nationwide last year, over $27 million eligible individuals and families received more than $63 billion in EITC. The basic qualifications for receiving the EITC are as follows.

For the 2013 tax season, you may qualify for the EITC if all of the following are true:

  • You, your spouse if you file jointly, and your children have Social Security numbers that are valid for employment.
  • You have earned income, either as an employee or as a self-employed person.
  • You do not use the Married Filing Separately filing status.
  • You have been a U.S. citizen or resident for the entire year, or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return.
  • You are not a qualifying child of another person for the EITC.
  • You do not have more than $3,300 in investment income, such as interest and dividends.
  • You have at least one qualifying child, or if you do not have a qualifying child, you are at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of the year, you live in the United States for more than half the year, and you do not qualify as a dependent of another person.

If you are a member of the armed forces, you do not have to include combat pay in your taxable income. If you may qualify for the EITC, however, excluding income from pay would cost you part of your credit. You may actually be better off with the taxable income.

Fortunately, a special rule prevents you from losing this tax break. For purposes of the EITC, you can choose to include your combat pay in your taxable income. You must either include all your pay or none in taxable income
If you need to file an amendment (1040X) or a previous year’s return, we will schedule those appointments after April 15th.
We at the tax office are here to assist you get the most out of your tax return for free. Please call us at 951-655-3659 to schedule an appointment, our doors will be open until April 30, we hope to hear from you soon.




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