SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Goodwill® Urges Workers To Claim The Tax Credits They Have Earned

Free Tax Assistance and Accessible Online Tools Help Workers File for Earned Income Tax Credit

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In recognition of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day on January 31, and throughout the tax filing season, Goodwill Industries International is partnering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to assist people around the country who may qualify to file for the tax credit. In addition to offering free tax preparation services at many local agencies, Goodwill® has created an EITC calculator to help people determine whether or not they qualify.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090716/DC47803LOGO)

Congress enacted the EITC in 1975 to assist working families and individuals but many do not even know they qualify. According to the IRS, one out of five eligible workers do not claim the credit. The EITC's worth varies depending on family size and filing status, so it is essential for workers to find out if they qualify, especially if their financial, marital or parental statuses have changed in the past year. Even if workers do not need to file federal tax returns based on salary, they must do so to claim the credit.

Households with incomes of less than $52,000 in 2013 may qualify to claim the EITC and could be eligible to receive a tax refund of as much as a $6,044 from the IRS. People have used the EITC to pay for necessities such as rent, bills, and home and vehicle repairs and maintenance. Others have put the money toward large purchases, such as a home or car, and long-term investments, such as savings, obtaining additional education or training, or retirement.

"The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the single-most effective tools at lifting American families out of poverty," Goodwill Industries International President and CEO Jim Gibbons said. "As an organization committed to helping hardworking Americans achieve financial and employment success, Goodwill is proud to partner with the IRS to ensure all eligible individuals and families have a chance to claim the credits they have earned."

Many Goodwill agencies are both promoting the EITC in their communities and operating Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to provide free tax preparation services to workers who qualify. Goodwill is also partnering with National Disability Institute and United Way to expand free online tax preparation and filing assistance to qualified individuals. Funded by the Walmart Foundation, MyFreeTaxes.com is a free online option to file. The MyFreeTaxes partnership has helped millions of individuals and families claim nearly $6 billion in tax credits and refunds since 2009. This year, Goodwill Industries International introduced a new tool to help people see if they qualify for EITC.  Starting January 6 on MyFreeTaxes.com, an EITC calculator will be available to allow people to quickly enter their tax filing information and determine whether or not they qualify for the credit.

Goodwill's mission is to provide job training, and career and community-based services to people with disabilities, those who lack education or work experience, and others who face challenges to finding employment. By claiming the tax credits they have earned this year, millions of hardworking Americans will be able to improve their financial stability and better care for their families.

To learn more about EITC, VITA sites or financial strengthening programs, visit goodwill.org/goodwill-is-good-for-you. To access Goodwill's free EITC calculator and other EITC planning tools, visit MyFreeTaxes.com.

ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Goodwill also builds revenue and creates jobs by contracting with businesses and government agencies to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2012, more than 6.7 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 82 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at www.goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl.

SOURCE Goodwill Industries International

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