Are You Eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit? Get Free Help With Pisgah Legal Services

Cash on an income tax form.
IRS

Workers across Western North Carolina (WNC) may get a larger tax refund this year because of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). But to get it, you must file a tax return and claim it.

Local nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services helps hundreds of people file their taxes and claim the tax credits they are owed for free each year. Last year, Pisgah Legal Services helped WNC taxpayers access almost $85,000 in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC).

Jan. 26, 2024, marks the 18th anniversary of EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites. This year, IRS is promoting EITC and providing information on other refundable tax credits that you may be eligible for. This also includes the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Nationwide, as of December 2023, approximately 23 million taxpayers received over $57 billion in EITC. In North Carolina, that amounted to more than $2 billion, with an average EITC amount of $2,585.

If you worked last year and had income of less than $63,698 check out your eligibility for EITC. EITC can mean up to a $7,430 refund when you file a return if you have qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $600. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average amount credited for 2022 was $2,541.

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

Why is it important to have an EITC Awareness Day each year? One-third of the EITC population changes each year. The IRS estimates that one out of five workers do not claim the EITC they earned. This means that billions of dollars are left unclaimed each year. We want to get the word out to those who are eligible to file a tax return even if they don’t owe any tax to claim the EITC.

EITC is complex. It varies by income, family size and your filing status. To be eligible, you must have earned income or certain disability income. This means you must have income from working for someone or working for yourself.

Pisgah Legal’s certified tax preparers are trained to ask you the needed questions to find out if you qualify for the EITC and other refundable tax credits. Pisgah Legal’s tax preparers also prepare and file your tax return at no cost to you.

“Our trained staff and community volunteers help you get EITC and the maximum refund you’re due,” said Mike McDonald, Managing Director of Pisgah Legal’s Health and Economic Opportunity Program. “This is money you can save or use to pay off bills, buy that car to get to work or make a down payment on a home. This service is free so there is nothing to lose.”

Free Help is Available

Let us help you get it and get it right. To learn more or make an appointment, visit pisgahlegal.org/taxes or call 828-210-3404.

Pisgah Legal Services offer free in-person, virtual and drop-off filing options. Bilingual Navigators are available to assist in Spanish, and free translation services are available for speakers of other languages.

Written by Pisgah Legal Services.