Tax Prep Assistance Info For Low-to Middle-Income Families

It is tax season and the April 17th deadline for filing federal, state and local taxes is quickly approaching. Many low- to middle-income families cannot afford to use an online tax filing system or pay a tax professional to help prepare their income tax returns. This often means that they will do it themselves and may miss out on important income tax deductions that could put more money back into their pockets.

  1. NC Free File. This year, taxpayers with incomes as high as $66,000 for individuals and $95,000 for joint filers may be eligible for NC Free File—a free electronic tax filing service that is easier and more accurate for taxpayers filing state taxes. Those who file online through this free service may get their refund sooner and are not required to have a bank account for refund deposit—they can still receive a check by mail. For more information, posters, and to sign up, go to:
  2. Free Tax Preparation Assistance. For those who need more assistance in filing their taxes, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer in-person assistance in completing annual tax returns at no cost. These centers are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools or other convenient locations. All volunteers are trained to ensure that all families that qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other benefits get it. To find a provider in your area and/or make an appointment, go to:
  3. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC). The EITC is a tax credit for working people and families with low- to moderate-income. The EITC results in an extra tax refund for those who claim and qualify for the credit. The IRS estimates that 1 in 5 that qualify for the EITC do not claim it, so it is very important that we promote this opportunity. For more information on qualification requirements, please visit here, or use the EITC Assistant to see if you or someone you know qualifies for the program. For promotional and communication tools for the EITC, please go here.

If you have any questions about this effort, please feel free to reach out to John N. (Hank) Bowers, Division of Aging and Adult Services Assistant Director by email at