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It’s Tax Season!

Did you know that if you or your family's combined income is less than $62,000 in 2015 you can prepare your taxes on your own for FREE? Please visit myfreetaxes.com/sandiego for more information.

Did you know that you may qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax preparation?

To start your search for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax preparation sites in San Diego County, please click here.

To schedule an appointment online at participating free tax preparation sites, please click here.

For information on the Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions for individuals and families, please click here.

For more information about Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites, AARP Tax Aide Sites, MyFreeTaxes, or other Financial Assistance available, please see below.

What is Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

  • EITC (sometimes referred to as EIC) is a tax credit that allows individuals to keep more of what they earned. 
  • It is a refundable Federal Income Tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families.
  • Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes AND to offer an incentive to work.
  • When EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.
  • To qualify, individuals must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they do not owe any tax or are not required to file.
  • Earned Income includes all the taxable income and wages you get from working.
  • There are two ways to get earned income:
    • You work for someone who pays you, OR
    • You work in a business you own or run

For examples and more information about Income that is Earned and Income that is NOT Earned, please click here.  

Who is eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Social Security Number

You, your spouse and any qualifying child you list on your tax return must each have a Social Security number that is valid for employment.

Filing Status

You must file:

  • Married filing jointly
  • Head of household
  • Qualifying widow(er)
  • Single

You can't claim EITC if your filing status is married filing separately.

If you, or your spouse, are a nonresident alien, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, to find out if you are eligible for EITC.

Income Earned During 2015

  • Your tax year investment income must be $3,400 or less for the year.
  • Must not file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
  • Your total earned income must be at least $1.
  • Both your earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must be no more than:
  • $14,820 ($20,330 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
  • $39,131 ($44,651 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $44,454 ($49,974 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $47,747 ($53,267 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children

If you are claiming a qualified child, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Qualifying children must have a Social Security Number
  • Must pass all of the following tests to be the person’s qualifying child:
    • Relationship:
      • Son, daughter, adopted child, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them such as a grandchild.
      • Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, step brother, step sister, or a descendant of any of them such as a niece or nephew.
      • Must pass all of the following tests to be the person’s qualifying child
      • Age: At the end of the filing year, child was:
      • Younger than you (or your spouse if you file a join return) AND
      • Younger than 19 OR
      • Younger than 24 and a full-time student
      • *Any age if permanently and totally disabled
    • Residency:
      • Child must live with you (or your spouse) if you file a joint return in the United States for more than half of the year

If you do not have a child that qualifies you for EITC, you are eligible for EITC if:

If your filing status is married filing separately, you are ineligible to claim EITC.

If you or your spouse is a nonresident alien, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, for additional guidance.

  • You (and your spouse if you file a joint return) meet all the EITC basic rules AND You (and your spouse if you file a joint return) cannot be claimed as a dependent or qualifying child on anyone else's return, AND You (or your spouse if you file a joint return) are between 25 and 65 years old at the end of the tax year, usually Dec. 31.

For more information about Earned Income Tax Credit, please click here.

Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites

Offer free tax help to low- to moderate-income families who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing. Also offers Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) assistance to low income, seniors, and disabled individuals in San Diego County.

Eligibility:

  • Low to moderate income families
  • Total household income is less than $53,000
  • Someone who cannot prepare tax forms on their own

Click here to find to start your search for VITA sites.

Click here to start your search for sites that can give you information about Earned Income Tax Credit.

AARP Tax Aide Sites

Offer free one-on-one counseling, as well as assistance on the telephone and internet to help individuals prepare basic tax forms, including the 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ and other standard schedules from February 1 through April 15th each year. Also offers Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) assistance.

Eligibility: No age limitations, although focus is on serving those 50 years or older. Must have a low or moderate income of 47,747 ($53,267 married filing jointly) or below/year

Click here to find to start your search for AARP Tax Aide Sites.

Click here to start your search for sites that can give you information about Earned Income Tax Credit.

MyFreeTaxes

Offers free online federal and state income tax filing and preparation software that is available to individuals and families  who would like to prepare taxes on their own. For more information, please click here.

Who is eligible?

  • Individual or families with a combined income of $62,000 a year or less.

What you'll need to start:

  • A valid email address
  • Income Forms (w2's, 1099's, 1098's)
  • For more information, see the Tax Checklist.