Hattiesburg mayor begins free tax preps for income tax season

Hattiesburg mayor begins free tax preps for income tax season

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the city of Hattiesburg. 

The City of Hattiesburg Mayor's Financial Education Initiative tax partners will begin preparing free tax returns, including electronic filing, on Monday, January 25 through Friday, April 15, 2016. Preparers are tested yearly and certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The program is a component of the Mayor's Financial Education Initiative (MFEI) which has netted low-to-moderate income families in Hattiesburg and Forrest County $16,353,475 in federal tax refunds over the past eight years, according to a news release issued by The City of Hattiesburg.

To kick off ETIC Awareness Day, the City of Hattiesburg will have open house at the C.E. Roy Community Center on January 27 beginning at 11 a.m. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) will be on-site to prepare tax returns.

They will also be at the Roy Center preparing tax returns every Wednesday throughout the tax season. The first 25 participants will receive a gift, according to the release.

The EITC is a refundable tax credit available to qualifying lower-wage workers and their families. Workers with children earning less than $53,267 from wages, self-employment or farming in 2015 could qualify.  Many people will qualify for the first time this year due to changes in their income, their marital status or parental status, according to the IRS.

However, the IRS estimates only four out of five eligible workers currently claim their EITC. The CTC is available to workers with children earning more than $3,000. A qualifying child must be under age 17.