To make a free tax preparation appointment with United Way Fresno and Madera Counties, call 211 or text TAXES to 211-211.
Madera residents can also call 866-559-4211 to schedule an appointment.
Binational of Central California also offers free tax prep. Text 559-243-3668 for more information in English, or 559-243-3669 for information in Spanish.
Taxes are due by April 18.
California workers who earned less than $30,000 last year may be eligible for as much as $6,000 in tax credits from the California Earned Income Tax Credit, as long as they file their taxes.
Aonya McCruiston, press secretary of anti-poverty nonprofit Golden State Opportunity, explained, during a news conference kicking off CalEITC Awareness Week, in Fresno on Tuesday, that people who earned between $1.00 and $30,000 in 2022, or have a qualifying child, may qualify for the tax credit, even if they don’t have a Social Security number. Anyone with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, can apply.
The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), a cash-back tax credit that was first offered in the 2015 tax year, can increase the federal Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income residents. Eligible individuals will receive a reduction on their tax debt or cash back.
How do I know if I qualify for the tax credit?
How much a person qualifies for depends on their income and size of their family, with larger families being eligible for up to $6,000.
According to information on the state’s Franchise Tax Board’s website, those who qualify can claim their CalEITC for last year now, using the 2022 FTB 3514 form. Additionally, individuals may also be able to claim CalEITC for the previous four years.
To qualify, individuals also must have resided in California for more than half of the filing year and not be claimed as a qualifying child or dependent by another taxpayer, unless the individual themselves has a qualifying child, the state’s Franchise Tax Board’s website shows.
“These tax credits have definitely made a positive impact on the populations we serve, both in the farmworker community and people living in rural areas,” said Ricardo Castorena, executive director of Binational of Central California, a Fresno-located organization aiming to connect farmworkers with resources, at Tuesday’s event.
“People can use them to pay bills or cover big expenses like child care,” Castorena said. “I see their impact on families every tax season and can say tax credits make a drastic difference in people’s lives.”
The deadline for filing falls on April 18 this year, due to both the weekend and the District of Columbia’s Emancipation Day holiday on April 17.
Get free tax preparation
United Way Fresno and Madera Counties, one of the organizations promoting CalEITC awareness, is offering free tax preparation to help residents of Fresno and Madera counties increase their tax refunds while saving money on tax preparation services.
“Free tax prep services might not seem like a big deal. But to a family that is already stretching their budget to pay for rent, utilities or food, the $100-500 they might have spent on a tax preparer, makes a huge difference,” said Lindsay Fox, CEO and president of the group.
In addition to saving people money, the IRS-certified volunteers can help individuals apply for more tax credits than they may have applied for on their own.
To make a free tax preparation appointment with United Way Fresno and Madera Counties, call 211 or text TAXES to 211-211. Madera residents can also call 866-559-4211 to schedule an appointment.
Free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs can also be found through the Binational of Central California, by texting 559-243-3668 for more information in English, or 559-243-3669 for information in Spanish.
To determine how much money they may be eligible for, tax-filers can visit CalEITC4me.org.