Modified: January 28, 2022 2:26pm
The Erie County Department of Social Services and two organizations that regularly work collaboratively with county officials want to inform local residents who are eligible to claim historic expanded tax credits on how they can claim their funds.
Annually celebrated as a way to share information and educate consumers on money-saving opportunities, Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day will be recognized this year on Friday, January 28.
“We understand that there may be some uncertainty by some people about whether or not they are eligible to receive these payments and questions about how to claim them, which is why we want to ensure eligible families receive this vital financial assistance information,” said Marie Cannon, commissioner of the Erie County Department of Social Services. “With each round of stimulus checks, the eligibility requirements have become more inclusive of lower-income residents and immigrants. These dollars help people make ends meet while providing our region with an economic boost by keeping the money flowing in our community.”
County and city residents can get connected with free tax assistance, including both virtual and in-person appointments, by calling 211.
Due to recently-expanded eligibility requirements that are more inclusive of lower-income filers and immigrants, many Erie County residents may be eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit and further Child Tax Credit benefits. Last year approximatelty 1,500,000 New York taxpayers received $3.4 billion in EITC. It is estimated that there are millions in unclaimed funds available to local residents.
Residents may be eligible to receive an Earned Income Tax Credit if they earned less than $57,414 in 2021. The criteria guidelines are as follows:
• $51,464 ($57,414 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children who have valid Social Security Numbers
• $47,915 ($53,865 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children who have valid SSNs
• $42,158 ($48,108 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child who have valid SSNs
• $21,430 ($27,380 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children who have valid SSNs
Erie County has partnered with a number of community organizations, including the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Say Yes Buffalo, the United Way, and Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, to provide resources for free tax assistance for this important income tax filing seasons.
“Tax time can be both scary and exciting for families, especially with all the pandemic related changes, so it’s important to get help from trusted, local services that have your interests at heart, not a profit motive” said Kelly Dodd, Director of 211WNY. “Community members can call 211 to get connected to high quality, free tax preparation services in our community offered by IRS trained volunteers at partners like BFNC and Northwest Community Center. We will schedule their tax appointment and let them know all the documents they need to successfully file their return. Additionally, when families call 211 we can screen them for other needs like food insecurity, eviction prevention, and utility payment assistance.”
In order to take to assess eligibility and be connected with assistance, Erie County residents should call 211 and follow recommended next steps.
For more information:
• To learn more about EITC eligibility, visit www.irs.ogv/eitc
• On the CTC and eligibility requirements for stimulus checks, visit www.taxoutreach.org
• On the Erie County Department of Social Services, visit www.erie.gov/socialservices