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February 19, 2014

Claim Your Earned Income Tax Credit Today!

(NASSAU COUNTY, NY) – Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-L.D. 1), in conjunction with the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, would like to spread awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and how to claim it.

According to estimates by the Internal Revenue Service, about 20 percent of eligible workers in New York typically fail to claim this important tax credit each year. As a result, these taxpayers miss out on accessing its benefits, which could be worth more than $7,500on their federal income tax returns this year.

Working families in Nassau County can get help accessing the EITC through a free tax preparation assistance program through Bethpage Federal Credit Union called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which is available during tax season.

The program helps eligible Long Islanders prepare their returns at no-cost at branch locations across Nassau and Suffolk counties. Through the VITA program, trained and IRS-certified volunteers help determine EITC eligibility and ensure taxpayers receive the full amount for which they qualify.

Bethpage FCU’s VITA program is available to eligible Long Islanders until April 12. Below are Bethpage FCU branches offering VITA services in Nassau County:

Wednesday, 5 – 7 p.m. and Saturday, 3 – 6 p.m.
Farmingdale – 1033 Route 109
Freeport – 210 West Merrick Road

Wednesday, 6 – 8 p.m. and Saturday, 3 – 6 p.m.
Elmont – 1633 Dutch Broadway
Hempstead – 170 Fulton Avenue
Massapequa – 6257 Sunrise Highway
Roosevelt – 405 Nassau Road
Westbury – 750 Old Country Road

Interested residents are asked to bring the following:

  • Photo identification
  • Social security cards for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Current year’s tax package if you received one
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s Federal & State returns if available
  • Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Total paid for day care and provider’s tax

Residents can receive thousands of dollars from the EITC, depending on the size of their household. The credit is available to workers whose incomes do not exceed the following limits:

  • $46,227 ($51,567 married filing jointly ) with three or more qualifying children
  • $43,038 ($48,378 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $37,870 ($43,210 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $14,340 ($19,680 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

The EITC not only helps low-income households that are struggling financially while encouraging work, but also provides a boost to local economies, according to a recent news release. It is one of the nation's largest and most effective anti-poverty programs, and it annually keeps more than 6.5 million people out of poverty, half of whom are children.

The Health & Welfare Council of Long Island recently announced their VITA partners completed more than 2,000 VITA tax returns in 2013, helping to secure $2.5 million in IRS refunds for low-income Long Island households, including $1,350 on average per household in EITC and $1,503 on average per household in overall refunds.

For more information regarding the EITC and the VITA program, please call Bethpage FCU Community Development at 516-349-4288 or e-mail: community@bethpagefcu.com.