Tax event at SBVC to serve low income community at no cost

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Courtesy Photo: Blanca Lopez, right, with a CAL EITC volunteer during a tax preparation event in Indio earlier this month.

If you’re looking to do your taxes at no cost, make sure to stop by San Bernardino Valley College on Saturday for the Cal EITC 4 Me Community Resource Fair.

The event is geared toward helping low income residents receive a reasonable tax return, despite earning significantly lower pay.

Regional director Blanca Lopez said Cal EITC advocates are focusing on helping poverty stricken Inland Empire residents gain a “financial boost.” Although 48,000 people in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties claimed nearly $28 million in state tax credits, Lopez believes much more is left to be desired.

“We want people to know,” she said. “A lot of times people who make under $4,000 are not obligated to file. They don’t know that if they do file they can possibly receive some sort of credit back. About 50,000 households didn’t claim EITC last year. We want this money to benefit residents in areas like Arlanza and Colton, where a cluster of low income people live.”

Key points to remember:

Qualification and Description

Eligible sources of earned income from:

  • W-2 wages.
  • Salaries, tips.
  • Other employee compensation subject to California withholding.

Note: For Cal EITC, earned income does not include income from self-employment.

Both your adjusted gross income and earned income (defined above) may be up to:

Maximum Income Limit

  • $6,717 if there are no qualifying children.
  • $10,087 if there is one qualifying child.
  • $14,161 if there are two or more qualifying children.

Your investment income, such as interest, dividends, royalties, and capital gains cannot exceed $3,471 for the entire tax year.

You may file as:

Filing Status

  • Single.
  • Married/Registered Domestic Partner (RDP) filing jointly.
  • Head of Household (HOH).

Note: Married/RDP Filing separately status may not be used.

Your qualifying child must meet three criteria:

  • Relationship – Is the taxpayer’s child, stepchild (whether by blood or adoption), foster child, sibling or stepsibling, or a descendant of any of them.
  • Residence – Had the same principal residence as the taxpayer in California for more than half the tax year. Certain exceptions apply.
  • Age – Child must be younger than the taxpayer and either a) under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or b) under the age of 24 if a full-time student for at least five months of the year. A permanently and totally disabled child may be included at any age.

The child only qualifies for one return.  If the child can be claimed by more than one taxpayer, the child’s qualification goes to:

  • The parent.
  • If more than 1 taxpayer is the child’s parent, the parent with whom the child lived for the longest time during the year, or if the time was equal, the parent with the highest adjusted gross income (AGI).
  • If no eligible parent claims the child, the individual claiming the child, if the individual’s AGI exceeds the AGI of any parent eligible to claim the child.
  • If no taxpayer is the child’s parent, the taxpayer with the highest AGI.

Residency

Your principal residence must be in California for more than half the tax year.

Age

If you do not have a qualifying child, you (or your spouse if you file a joint return) must be between 25 and 65 years old at the end of the tax year.

Lopez said residents interested in filing their taxes should call (909) 347-1255 to make an appointment. For more info go to http://caleitc4me.org/.

 

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