BENTON – Local residents can receive valuable help at tax time from Central[more] Arkansas Development Council, which is offering free tax preparation assistance at 19 locations in central and south Arkansas. This year many workers will qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC) for the first time because their income declined or they became unemployed; tax refunds through the EIC and Child Tax Credit can help low- and moderate-income families cover day-to-day expenses such as utilities, rent, and child care. Families with three or more children also get an extra boost with a larger EIC this year.
The IRS estimates, however, that one-fourth of eligible people could miss out on the EIC because they don’t know about it, don’t know that they qualify, or don’t know where to find free tax filing assistance.
At the Mabel Boswell Memorial Library, 201 Prickett Road in Bryant, IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers will work one-on-one with families and individuals to help file their tax returns and ensure that they receive the tax credits for which they qualify. Also information will be provided on financial education classes and saving with US Savings Bonds. Customers can split refunds into multiple accounts, or if they don't hold a bank account, can receive their refund on a debit card. Customers generally receive federal refunds 7-10 days.
The service will be provided starting Jan. 30, by appointment. Call 501-778-1133 to make an appointment.
“Workers who earned around $50,000 or less in 2011 and were raising children should see if they qualify for the EIC,” said Larry Cogburn, executive director of CADC. “And single workers not raising children who earned less than $13,600 might qualify for a smaller EIC,” he added. “But you must file a federal income tax return to claim the EIC – even if you don’t earn enough to owe any federal income taxes.”
Persons utilizing the sites should bring their family's Social Security Cards, picture ID, W-2/1099s, a copy of last year's return, bank account information for direct deposit or splitting a refund to several accounts, and any other pertinent information.
CADC's Free Tax Sites will be located in Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Lonoke, Montgomery, Ouachita, Pike, Pulaski, Saline and Union Counties. For a complete site listing, go to www.cadc.com.
CADC is a private nonprofit community action agency that was formed in 1965 to fight and win the “War on Poverty.” The mission of CADC is to improve the quality of life and build strong communities in Arkansas. For more information, please contact CADC at 501-778-1133.