April 15th will be here before you know it. With that in mind, the Boston Tax Help Coalition is once again offering free tax preparation for residents earning $57,000 or less per year.
The Boston Tax Help Coalition (BTHC) is a partnership of nonprofits, businesses, and community organizations, and the largest program of the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment. BTHC's stated mission, "...is to broaden pathways from poverty to financial empowerment by maximizing the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits through quality, free tax preparation, financial education and economic stability opportunities."
Due to COVID-19, BTHC and community partners are offering both in the community and remote tax help. Tax preparation is available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Portugese, French, Vietamese, Manderin, and Cantonese. Qualified residents must call 311 or visit www.bostontaxhelp.org for an appointment. Unlike prior years, walk-in services for residents will not be provided.
In 2020, the average EITC amount returned to taxpayers was $2,461, according to a press release. But according to the IRS, 20 percent of all eligible filers do not receive the credit, with approximately $10 million dollars of EITC unclaimed in Boston.
Important to note is that Congress created a "Lookback Provision" with a stimulus package. Residents may elect to use their 2019 earned income to calculate their 2020 EITC if their 2019 earned income is more than their 2020 earned income. Residents should bring a copy of their 2019 taxes with them to the tax appointment, whether they're getting help from the Boston Tax Help Coalition or anyone else, to make sure they get the largest EITC credit possible.