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PHI Online Tax Resource Center Helps Employers Help Workers

January 25, 2012

For the third consecutive year, PHI is hosting the Earn, Keep, Save MORE website, an online tax resource center to help direct-care workers get the tax credits that they are entitled to receive and access free tax preparation assistance services.

The Earn, Keep, Save MORE website — designed for direct-care workers and employers in Michigan and across the nation — provides information on:

  • state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC);
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites; and
  • The Beehive — a free online tax preparation service and financial education site.

Long-term care employers are encouraged to use the site to download materials — paycheck stuffers, fact sheets, and posters — to help their employees make this a rewarding tax season.

Tax Credits Boost Income

The EITC is a refundable tax credit for low- and moderate-income families and individuals.

A family can receive an EITC of up to $5,751, depending on income and family size. Anyone eligible for a federal EITC automatically qualifies for a state EITC if their state offers it; most states do. State tax credits range from 3 percent to 40 percent of the federal EITC.

“Many who are eligible for the EITC do not claim it — either because they don’t know about it or they don’t think they will be eligible because they do not owe any taxes,” said PHI Senior Workforce Advocate Tameshia Bridges, who has been coordinating the Earn, Keep, Save MORE efforts in Michigan since the program began.

“Getting a large tax refund with the help of EITC can mean extra money to catch up on bills, buy a computer for the family, or open up a savings account.”

Free Tax Preparation Assistance

VITA sites — sponsored by community-based organizations and staffed by IRS-trained volunteers — provide free tax preparation assistance and often offer workshops on saving and financial planning.

Families with an annual income below $50,000 are eligible for free tax preparation assistance at VITA sites through April 15.

The Beehive makes it possible for people who do their taxes themselves to file both their state and federal taxes for free online.

More information on EITC eligibility, as well as materials to help employers spread the word about EITC and VITA sites, are available on the Earn, Keep, Save MORE site.

– by the PHI Policy team

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