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Lawson State Gears Up for Free Income Tax Program

1/15/2011

LAWSON STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
3060 Wilson Road
Birmingham, AL 35221

NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Geri Albright
Director of Public Relations
(205) 929-6315
galbright@lawsonstate.edu

Lawson State Gears Up for Free Income Tax Program  

College Also Promotes National EITC Awareness Day

BIRMINGHAM, AL - (January 2011) — More workers could be eligible for a special tax credit this year and not know it. As a result, many may overlook claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, which can put anywhere from $2 to more than $5,600 into their pockets.

Lawson State Community College will join many organizations from coast to coast this Friday to recognize the fifth annual Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness (EITC) Day.  The credit can increase federal income tax refunds from $1 to more than $5,666, depending on individual circumstances. But to get earning income tax credit, you must know about the credit, then file and specifically claim it.

Lawson State Community College will also kick off its free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) beginning this Saturday, January 29 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the Gaston Building (Room 208) on the Birmingham East Campus.   The remaining tax sessions are scheduled at the same time and location on the following Saturdays: February 5, 12, 19, 26, March 5, 26, & April 2, 2011.    

Through the Internal Revenue Service’s (VITA), Lawson State instructors and certified students assist in the preparation of basic state and federal tax forms and offer electronic filing.  And in the case of a tax dispute, Lawson State offers the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program to provide tax resolution.

EITC is a financial boost for working people hit by hard economic times. “Many people will qualify for the first time this year due to economic changes in their incomes, parental status or marital status,” said Ms. Alfreda King, instructor in the Lawson State Business and Information Technologies Department.   “The IRS estimates four out of five eligible workers claim their EITC.  We want to raise that to five out of five.”

Anyone who earned $48,362 or less from wages, self-employment or farming in 2010 should see if they qualify. Eligible workers can get their EITC only if they file federal income tax returns – even if they are not otherwise required to file – and specifically claim the credit.

To help accurately determine their EITC eligibility and prepare their returns, individuals should bring:

  • Photo proof of identification
  • Social Security cards for themselves, their spouse and dependents or Social Security number verification letters issued by the Social Security Administration
  • Birth dates for all persons listed on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R, from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • Copies of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
  • Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit of their refunds
  • Other relevant information about income and expenses
  • Amounts paid for day care, if applicable and the day care provider's identifying number.

To electronically file their returns and get the fastest refunds, both spouses must be present to sign joint returns.

For more information about the EITC eligibility and/or the Volunteer Income Tax Program, call (205) 929-6460.

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