Between the American Association of Retired Persons Foundation Tax Aide program, and the IRS Volunteer Tax Information Assistance (VITA) program, there are close to 600 sites across the Commonwealth offering free state and federal tax preparation service to low- and moderate-income tax filers as well as those 60 and older.
The AARP sites can be found here; the VITA sites here. Both programs will assist low- and moderate-income taxpayers and those 60 and older in filing for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, and the state's Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit. Both are refundable tax credits.
The EITC delivers a maximum federal tax credit of more than $5,751, which is then matched by a state tax credit equal to 15 percent of the federal credit or an additional $862. The income ceiling for the EITC is $49,078 for a married couple filing jointly or $43,998 for a single head of household.
Last year, more than 26 million federal tax filers received nearly $59 billion in tax credits. In Massachusetts, nearly $110 million was paid to nearly 400,000 tax filers as a result of the 15 percent state match, which began in 1997. The EITC was enacted by Congress in 1975.
Gov. Deval Patrick issued a proclamation declaring Jan. 27 as Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day. That same day, Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray issued a statement pointing out that "there are still many Massachusetts residents who do not realize that they qualify for the program or do not know how to claim the credit … this resource is critical now more than ever, as Massachusetts families can use some extra money in their pocket to support every day needs for their households."