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ALEXANDRIA — Many taxpayers are unaware they qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that can mean as much as an additional $4,000 in their federal income tax refund, says Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges.
“The federal EITC is designed to assist moderate and low-income taxpayers with dependent children by returning some of their hard-earned money,” Bridges says. “Unfortunately, many of the taxpayers who qualify either don’t file a return in order to receive the credit, or don’t check to see if they qualify when they file.
Bridges says the Louisiana Department of Revenue is making a targeted attempt this tax season to reach those taxpayers who may qualify for EITC. “We want them to check with our Department or a professional tax preparer to see if they qualify. It could mean up to an additional $4,000 in their federal income tax refund,” Bridges says.
She adds that the state Revenue Department is again providing tax assistance and electronic filing in the Alexandria region through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. She says volunteer representatives will be on hand at a number of locations during February to assist taxpayers with the preparation of their federal 1040A and 1040EZ tax returns, as well as the state return. After preparation is completed, tax returns will be filed electronically free of charge. “Taxpayers should use this free assistance opportunity to see if they qualify for EITC,” Bridges points out.
When seeking VITA assistance, taxpayers must do the following: provide two forms of identification (one must be with a photo); be present to sign the tax return (both spouses must be present if married and filing jointly); file a 1040A or 1040EZ federal return; file no additional form(s) other than Schedule 1, 2, R, or Earned Income Credit; bring all copies of W-2s, 1099s, and statements of interest, dividends, unemployment compensation, and Social Security; bring Social Security card(s) for all dependents claimed on the return; provide dependent care (child care) expenses and payer’s name, address, and Social Security or Federal Identification Number; and, have Form 1098-T from the education institution you attended. Taxpayers should also note the following: the spouse’s name must be the same as in the Social Security Office records; a dependent’s name, year of birth, and Social Security Number must be the same as in the Social Security Office records; and, if claiming a child tax credit, the year of birth of the qualifying child must be provided. In addition, if you received a 2003 Advance Child Tax Credit, you must provide the exact amount received.
Direct deposit of a taxpayer’s refund is available, but taxpayers must provide a blank check or other official document from their bank or credit union that lists the routing number and account number. A deposit slip is not acceptable as proof of the account.
The following are sites, dates, and times for tax assistance in the Alexandria region:
Alexandria(By Appointment Only)LA Department of Revenue Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 201 Johnson Street(318) 487-5333
NatchitochesThe Boys & Girls Club February 16, 2004 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.1320 Dixie Street
LeesvilleDr. M. L. King Community Center February 17, 2004 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.101 West Lee Street
AlexandriaBolton Avenue Community Center February 18, 2004 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.315 Bolton Avenue
FerridayConcordia Parish Library February 19, 2004 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.1609 Third Street
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