It’s Time to Start Filing Your Tax Returns

Most people don’t want to think about it but it’s the time a year to begin thinking about filing 2012 tax returns. For many working people in East Boston there’s some relief from the confusing process of figuring out taxes.

East Boston APAC, in partnership with the City of Boston, kicked off its annual Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program at its office on Meridian Street last week.  The office will be opened Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help begin the tax filing process.

Eligible residents with three or more qualifying children filing a joint return and your family earned less than $45,060 ($50,270 married filing jointly) in 2012, you may be eligible for up to $6,775 in federal and state credits. A family with one qualifying child and earnings of $36,920 ($42,130 married filing jointly) is eligible for a credit of up to $3,737. For those without children, a single person earning up to $13,980 or a married couple filing jointly earning up to $19,190 are eligible for $560 in EITC credits.

“If you are eligible, you earned this money, so don’t let your refund go unclaimed,” said APAC Director Amy Lima. “More importantly, don’t spend any of your refund paying for tax preparation – get your taxes prepared at APAC’s tax preparation site for free and keep the money in your pocket.”

APAC returned over $1 million back into the pockets of Eastie residents through he EITC program last year. APAC was one of several free tax preparation sites in the city that made filing taxes trouble-free for hundreds of Eastie’s low-income residents and families.

“Last year was an amazing tax season and we surpassed our goal of $1 million,” said Lima. “This was the most successful EITC program we’ve run since the program’s beginning in 2002.”

In 2002 APAC filed only 35 tax returns for families but that number dramatically increased each year.

Last year APAC processed over 1,000-combine state and federal tax returns that netted $1 million for Eastie families.

“It’s unbelievable that three people and a few volunteers on the weekends were able to accomplish so much,” said Lima. “It’s a great way for us to help put money back into the pockets of Eastie’s working families.”

The popular program has become an oasis for hundreds of families in the neighborhood over the course of the tax season and the program continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

“Aside from our winter fuel assistance program, this is our second biggest program,” said Lima.  “It’s become a good alternative for many families that qualify who would otherwise have to pay a big firm to get their taxes processed.”

Mayor Thomas Menino said the program provides free financial assistance to the hardworking people across the City of Boston and helps them make the most of their annual tax return,”

“I urge all eligible residents to visit their nearest location, as we work to surpass last year’s tremendous results,” said Menino.

This year tax preparers will offer the opportunity to use a portion of your refund to buy savings bonds. This is a way to save money and earn interest.  In addition to purchasing savings bonds, APAC will offer access to free financial education programs to help make positive use of refund and tax credits and jump-start a savings programs or take other steps toward building assets that put residents on the path to upward mobility.

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