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Bowser Administration Offers Free Tax Preparation Tools to Help Residents Take Advantage of Earned Income Tax Credit

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Washington, DC—The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) offers an opportunity for qualifying individuals to receive a larger federal tax refund this year, even if they do not owe any tax. But to claim it, they must file a tax return. The Bowser Administration, through the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) and community partners, will be offering resources to help District residents learn more about the EITC and other tax credits.

On January 31, 2020, DISB and United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) are hosting a DC EITC Awareness Day, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization Inc., 3939 Benning Road NE in Ward 7.

EITC Awareness Day is celebrated nationwide in late January to increase awareness about EITC and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and to encourage financial tax awareness. In the District, 49,000 workers and families received $115 million in EITC refunds in 2019, an average earned income tax credit of $2,365 per tax return. Nationwide, about 25 million workers and families received nearly $63 billion in EITC in 2019. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that every year, one out of five workers do not file for EITC. This means that billions of unclaimed tax dollars do not reach out to their rightful beneficiaries.

“Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration provides a variety of tools and resources to help ensure all District residents are financially fit,” said DISB Acting Commissioner Karima Woods. “With the Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day event, DISB and its partners are financially empowering District residents by providing them with free tax preparation services and resources to maximize their tax return claims. This is money that can be used to leverage cost of living, pay for essential services or to invest in college or retirement funds.”

DISB and United Way NCA will also promote their volunteer tax work and highlight great community partners like Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) and Community Tax Aid. Speakers include Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), United Way NCA Vice President of Community Impact Dirk Butler, Capital Area Asset Builders Executive Director Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz, Citi Community Development Vice President Reginald Exum and a 2018 EITC recipient.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is eligible to anyone who worked last year and had an income of less than $55,952. To be eligible, one must have earned income or certain disability income. This means earning income from working for someone or self-employment. Workers with investment income greater than $3,600 in 2019 are not eligible for EITC.

The maximum amount of credit for Tax Year 2019 is:

  • $6,557 with three or more qualifying children;
  • $5,828 with two qualifying children;
  • $3,526 with one qualifying child; and
  • $529 with no qualifying children.

“Tax season can be a stressful time for many workers and their families, especially when it comes to the specifics of tax preparation. There are many forms, rules and exclusions that can make the entire process overwhelming. We encourage the community to take advantage of our free tax preparation services to maximize their refunds by claiming all available credits and ensuring that money gets back in their pockets,” said Dirk Butler, Vice President of Community Impact and Engagement at United Way of the National Capital Area.

Tax preparers trained by the IRS help residents find out if they qualify for EITC and other refundable tax credits. Volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites also prepare and e-file (electronically file) tax returns at no cost.

Find a free tax preparation site near you:

About DISB 
Our mission is three-fold: (1) cultivate a regulatory environment that protects consumers and attracts and retains financial services firms to the District; (2) empower and educate residents; and (3) support the development and expansion of business.

About United Way NCA
United Way NCA fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the National Capital community. United Way NCA has been improving lives by creating measurable impact in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for more than 40 years. For more information about United Way NCA, visit UnitedWayNCA.org.