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When it comes to doing taxes, many individuals just know the basics. Many of them forgo tax benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit because they are not well-informed or have simply not heard of them. In Miami-Dade, the IRS estimates that 1 out of 5 of those who qualify are not claiming the EITC. United Way of Miami-Dade wants to make sure you know where to turn to for answers to all your questions and help put more money in your pocket.

Branches, which houses and operates the United Way Center for Financial Stability, serves as home base for the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, with more than 40 VITA sites available across Miami-Dade including public, employer-based and mobile sites.

Click on the links below to learn more about EITC, other tax benefits, free online filing and free tax preparation sites that can help you file your taxes and answer your questions:

How do I know if I qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?
Where can I go to get help with my taxes?
What do I need to take with me when I visit a tax preparation site?
Can I file my taxes online for free?
What can I do to become financially stable?

How do I know if I qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

With tax season underway, United Way Center for Financial Stability is helping individuals and families who qualify to access free tax preparation and filing services, as well as inform consumers on eligibility requirements for the EITC and other tax credits, through which they can receive up to $6,242 (the exact amount of refund is calculated when taxes are filed). Use the following table to see if you are eligible:

2015 earnings less than 2015 earnings less than (if married and filing jointly) # of children lived with in 2015 Possible tax return Form Instructions
$47,747 ($53,267) 3 or more $6,242 File Form 1040 or 1040A and attach Schedule EITC
$44,454 ($49,974) 2 or more $5,548 File Form 1040 or 1040A and attach Schedule EITC
$39,131 ($44,651) 1 $3,359 File Form 1040 or 1040A and attach Schedule EITC
$14,820 ($20,330) 0 $503 File Form 1040 or 1040A or 1040EZ
Additional Child Tax Credit
  • Get $1,000 back for each child you have at home!

To qualify for either credit, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien with a valid Social Security number.

Where can I go to get help with my taxes?

Visit any one of the more than 40 VITA sites for FREE tax preparation services provided by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers. Need help finding a VITA site or to get tax help, call 211.

The United Way Center for Financial Stability is helping individuals and families who qualify, access to free tax preparation and filing services. Services also include amending a return or filing for back taxes (previous 3 years). Contact us today at (305) 688-6421 to make an appointment and get started.

What do I need to take with me when I visit a tax preparation site?

When you visit a free tax preparation site, be sure to bring:

  • Photo identification for yourself, your spouse and all adults appearing on the tax return
  • Your Social Security card, and that of your spouse and dependents
  • W-2 and 1099 forms you received from your employer
  • Information on any other income you received during the previous tax year
  • Information about any deductions or credits you may wish to claim
  • A copy of previous year’s (2014) tax return
  • Dependent child care information, including center’s tax ID number or Social Security of individual providing services; amount paid
  • A voided check (You will get your refund faster if you have it deposited directly into your bank account. Just bring along a voided check or ask your tax preparer to help you open a bank account, if you don’t already have one.)
  • If you had marketplace health coverage, bring form 1095-A
  • If you received a marketplace exemption, bring your Exemption Certificate Number (ECN)
Where do I go to file my taxes online for free?

You may go to any one of these three resources:

MyFreeTaxes (incomes of $62,000 or less in 2014)
IRS
I-Can (Available in Spanish and has no income cap)

You can prepare your own taxes safely and conveniently online. Find a number of free options regardless of your income or language. These resources will guide you step-by-step through preparing your own tax return and has many safeguards to ensure you get the best return possible. There is tax and customer support available 24/7 for many of these sites. These sites can help you with all the tax credits, itemized deductions and even small business income.

Please contact the United Way Center for Financial Stability if you would like us to show your school, congregation, community group or office how you can use online self-tax preparation.

What can I do to become financially stable?

If you are interested in paving a path to long-term economic independence, consider the United Way Center for Financial Stability. The Center provides working individuals and families with a full range of services and support such as credit and debt counseling, financial coaching, employment assistance and free tax preparation for those who qualify. Contact us today to get started.

United Way Center for Financial Stability

North location: 11500 Northwest 12 Avenue
Miami, FL 33168
South location: 129 Southwest 5 Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034

Main: (305) 688-3551
Fax: (305) 688-3556
miamifinancialstability.org Se habla español – Nou pale Kreyòl