Mayor Greg Fischer today joined community partners to announce the start of free federal and state tax preparation assistance for eligible residents.

The Louisville Asset Building Coalition, or VITA, and AARP’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs provide IRS-trained and certified volunteers to offer free tax services online or on select deposit sites. VITA is available to individuals and families who earned less than $66,000 in 2021. AARP Tax-Aide’s mission is to serve everyone who walks through the door, with special consideration for those age 60 and older. .

VITA and AARP volunteers will also help determine if residents are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable federal tax credit for low- and middle-income individuals and families. Eligibility for the EITC is based on income, number of family members, and other criteria. Working families earning up to $57,400 may qualify, with average credits last year nearing $2,800.

Volunteer tax preparers can also help ensure families take full advantage of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). In 2021, under the American Rescue Plan, this credit was increased to $3,600 per child, and made fully refundable. Families were also allowed to receive half of the credit in the form of upfront monthly payments.

But here’s the thing to remember,” the mayor said. “Eligible families who did not receive these advance payments can still claim the full amount of the child tax credit on their 2021 federal income tax return, filed this year. And that includes families who don’t normally need to file a return.

“Tax refunds provide a vital household budget boost for many Louisville families – and that’s why, since taking office, I’ve made it a priority to highlight ways in which your city ​​can help you get your full refund,” the mayor continued. “For many working families, free tax help and advice on qualifying for the EITC and CTC can be a game-changer. It’s money that could be used to open a savings account , buy a car, get braces for a child, pay for books and tuition, or set up a college fund for their children.”

Since its launch in 2001, VITA Services has helped over 128,500 claimants. Last year, even amid the pandemic, VITA processed nearly 7,000 returns, adding more than $9 million to the local economy, including nearly $2 million in EITCs for residents. The AARP team helped file another 1,500 claims, which generated more than $1.8 million in federal and state refunds. Nearly 75% of them concerned people aged 60 and over.

Mayor Fischer thanked the many partner organizations working together to help hard-working families file their taxes properly and take advantage of credits, including the Office of Resilience and Community Services at Metro Louisville, who, since taking office in 2011, has helped advance work to place greater emphasis on financial empowerment.

January 24 is the first official tax filing day this season. This year, due to the COVID pandemic, several of the VITA sites will prepare a free in-person tax return by appointment only, and most sites will provide a free tax return through filing services. Individuals can visit getyourrefund.org to prepare their taxes online.

To schedule an appointment for in-person tax assistance, call 502-305-0005 or visit louisvillekyvita.cascheduler.com.

VITA’s free tax preparation sites are located at:

  • Americana Community Center, 4801 Southside Drive
  • Urban League of Louisville, 1535 W. Broadway
  • LaGrange Oldham County Library, 308 Yager, LaGrange
  • Portland Promise Center, 1831 Baird St.
  • Salt and Light CDC/NABA, Shively Town Hall, 3920 Dixie Highway.
  • Sun Valley Community Center, 6505 Bethany Lane
  • United Crescent Hill Ministries, 150 State St.
  • Wesley House Community Services, 5114 Preston Hwy.

For more details, including days and times of drop-off services and VITA locations, visit https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/qMTKCERX14Io8OOksPh76f?domain=labcservices.org

Also visit the website for information about a free service for others interested in filing their taxes online. Volunteers can visit MyFreeTaxes.com to access free software offered in partnership by United Way Worldwide and TaxSlayer. LABC is a proud member of Tax Time Allies and has received funding from the Intuit Freedom Foundation to increase access to VITA and free software.

AARP Tax Aid opens the first week of February and operates at nine locations by appointment only. For future updates, including online filing options, visit https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/a1KrCJ6Kz5sLWllgsOEgTx?domain=aarp-tax-aide-lou.org.

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

  • Photo ID and Social Security cards for everyone on the return
  • Copy of 2020 tax return with all attachments and schedules
  • W-2 and 1099 from your employers
  • Other 1099 forms for interest, dividends, state tax refund, or other income
  • Form 1099-G for any unemployment benefits received during the year
  • 1095-A for health insurance
  • 1098 for college credit, plus a detailed school financial statement
  • Bank account number and routing number for direct deposit as well as savings account number (if applicable)
  • If you don’t have a bank account, we can help you open a Bank On certified account.
  • Childcare information, including provider ID and actual amounts paid
  • Summary list of other income/expenses for those who itemize or are self-employed
  • Additional tax information that may be required

Masks are mandatory at all VITA sites.

New this tax season, Bank On Louisville is partnering with VITA to offer a new Tax time login initiative to encourage tax filers to source funds from Bank On certified accounts and choose direct deposit for their tax refund. A financial lawyer will be available to provide additional support to filers as they open bank accounts and learn how to use that account to manage their money. Bank On Louisville is a collaborative partnership of local government, financial institutions, and community organizations working to improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked residents of our Louisville community.

“Bank On Certified Accounts are inexpensive, secure, and fully functional,” said Erin Waddell, co-president of Bank On Louisville. “Depositing your tax refund into a certified account is not only a great way to receive your refund faster, easier, and more securely, but also a great way to build your new financial future.”

To learn more about the features and benefits of the Tax Time Connect initiative, watch this video https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/xpqnCKr7z4hxyPPZIoo1QD?domain=youtu.be. For more information on accessing Tax Time resources and to view a list of Bank On certified accounts available in Louisville, go here: https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/P4EmCL9104hMDVVlhKLzFz?domain=bankonlouisville.org/.

The work of the Louisville Asset Building Coalition and the AARP Tax Assistance Program is made possible by Metro United Way, the Louisville Metropolitan Government, the IRS, the AARP Tax-Aide Foundation, and dozens of others partners, as well as hundreds of volunteers.

Visit https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/jnD2CM8KN4uVyDDvUO1y1z?domain=labcservices.org Where https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/a1KrCJ6Kz5sLWllgsOEgTx?domain=aarp-tax-aide-lou.org for more information on required documentation.

History of the Louisville Asset Building Coalition (LABC) and the VITA program: In 2001, Metro United Way joined with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and several local partners to launch LABC, which works with the IRS and VITA to provide free income tax preparation to families whose household income can reach $66,000. Since taking office in 2011, Mayor Fischer has worked closely with Metro United Way to help grow and sustain LABC’s impact. This includes integrating LABC as a quasi-Metro agency into a partnership to expand its focus on financial empowerment. This year’s integration of Bank On Louisville’s banking access efforts with tax season services is just one example of the city’s work to ensure residents have the tools they need to strengthen their financial stability.

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