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Here's an e-mail we received, yesterday, from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs: taxcredit_campaign2009_nyreblog_com_.jpgThursday, January 29, 2009

It's tax time and Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz urges New Yorkers to call 311 or visit www.NYC.gov/ofe to find out if they are eligible for tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the New York City Child Care Tax Credit and to access free or low-cost tax preparation services. Read the press release about the City's Tax Credit Campaign and download 2009 Tax Season Fast Facts .

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Working families (with dependents) earning less than $42,000 may be eligible for up to $6,500 from the EITC. Working individuals earning less than $16,000 may be eligible for up to $600. Parents not living with their child who have up-to-date child support payments and earn less than $34,000 might be eligible for up to $1,100. See the chart for additional information.

Eligibility Requirements

Tax Year 2008

Maximum Combined Credit

Maximum Federal Credit

Maximum State Credit

Maximum City Credit

Maximum Income

Families with more than one qualifying child





($41,646 MFJ*)

Families with one qualifying child





($36,995 MFJ*)






($15,880 MFJ*)

*MFJ = Married Filing Jointly

New York City Child Care Tax Credit

Don't forget to ask your tax preparer about the New York City Child Care Tax Credit. If you earn $30,000 or less and pay child care expenses for children three and under, you may qualify for this local tax credit of up to $1,733. Your tax preparer can tell you about this and other tax credits for parents.

Find Free or Low-Cost Tax Preparation

Wondering how to claim your refund this year? The Mayor's NYC EITC Coalition offers qualifying New Yorkers the opportunity to file returns for free or at a very low cost to claim the tax credits for which they qualify.

Free Tax Preparation Sites

Visit one of the more than 50 free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites Citywide to have a certified volunteer prepare your basic federal and state tax returns and help you file for special credits, like the EITC and New York City Child Care Tax Credit. Families with dependents who earn less than $45,000 and individuals who earn less than $20,000 are eligible for free tax preparation. When you receive your W-2 form, call 311 or go online to find the site nearest you.

Last tax season, VITA sites helped more than 82,000 New Yorkers obtain an average EITC refund of $2,600.

$aveNYC Account

At select VITA locations for a limited time, eligible tax filers can get match money--50ยข for every dollar saved up to $250
--when they use their tax refund to open a $aveNYC Account and save it for one year. Families (with dependents) earning less than $45,000 and individuals earning less than $20,000 are eligible to open a $aveNYC Account. Learn more .

Tax Prep Plus

Tax Prep Plus sites offer quick and easy tax preparation by a Tax One professional for only $20. Tax One preparers are partnering with community-based organizations to serve families with dependents who earn less than $55,000 and individuals who earn less than $30,000. Learn more .

Make the Most of Your Refund

For many families, their tax refund is the single biggest check they receive all year. This could be the right opportunity to use part of your refund to pay down debt, build savings, or pay important expenses. Get a list of ideas to make the most of your tax refund .

Know Your Rights When Dealing with Tax Preparers:

  • By law, you must receive a copy of the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers before any discussion about tax preparation service.
  • Avoid Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs), which are high interest loans that reduce the amount of your refund. Coalition-sponsored sites do not offer RALs.

Call 311 or visit www.NYC.gov/ofe for more information about tax credits, to find free or low-cost tax preparation services, and to find free and low-cost financial education classes and counseling.

It's Tax Time. Go Get Your Refund!

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs