An event offering free income-tax preparation for the 2012 tax season and information on family assistance services will be offered from 10am to 3pm on Friday, Jan. 27, in the College of Business Administration (CBA) Building at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
Presented by Jerome E. Horton, chairman of the California State Board of Equalization, the CSULB event will be the first of five that will be held between Jan. 27 and April 14 at college campuses in Long Beach, Carson and Los Angeles, including Cal State Dominguez Hills (Saturday, Feb. 25) and Long Beach City College (Saturday, April 14).
In addition to the free tax preparation, the event will feature representatives from various organizations who will be able to provide information on getting access to low-cost and free medical services, job-preparation assistance, food and nutrition service, discount telephone service and low-cost auto insurance.
Aside from the colleges, other partners for the event include the Koreatown Youth and Community Center, the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, the United Job Creation Council, the South Bay Workforce Investment Board, Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
All family services are open to the public, and the free tax-preparation assistance is for household incomes of $50,000 or less. More importantly, the tax return preparation services provided at these events allow qualiﬁed ﬁlers to take full advantage of available tax credits, both refundable and non-refundable.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is an example of a refundable credit and, unlike other available tax credits, the EITC is a direct cash payment which is added to any refund due to ﬁlers. The maximum credit paid to qualiﬁed ﬁlers is $5,751, and the EITC annually lifts 5 million Americans above the poverty line. Non-refundable tax credits lower a ﬁler’s taxable income, thereby reducing the amount of tax paid. The combination of both the refundable and non-refundable credits can result in up to a $12,000 credit for a qualiﬁed ﬁler.
Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome and will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis. Free parking will be available for visitors but only on the first two floors of Parking Structure 1 (next to the CBA building).
Those interested in having their 2011 tax returns prepared should bring the following items: proof of identification; Social Security cards, including spouse’s and dependents’ (or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration); birth dates, including spouse’s and dependents’; current year’s tax package; wage and earnings statements (W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers); and interest and dividend statements from banks (1099 forms).
Additionally, clients should try to bring a copy of their federal and state returns from last year, if available; bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit; total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security number or the provider’s business employer identification number); and, if a client paid rent for at least half of 2011 for property in California, he or she should have the rental dates and landlord’s information (name, address, phone number).
It is also important to note that when filing taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.