It’s time for a reminder that it's tax season again!
And again this year, the Internal Revenue Service and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program remind people with disabilities that several tax benefits may be available. Because people with disabilities are more likely to have low incomes, they may not file returns. As a result, they often do not take advantage of the benefits available, thinking they are only for those with larger budgets.
Anyone with a disability, or who has a dependent with a disability, should visit the page “Tax Benefits for Disabled Taxpayers” at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Benefits-for-Disabled-Taxpayers (the URL of this page has changed in the last year, so don't rely on bookmarks). At the bottom of this page are links to two IRS publications available as PDFs, publication 3966, “Living and Working with Disabilities” (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3966.pdf), and publication 907, “Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities” (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p907.pdf).
In particular, IRS seeks to bring attention to the Earned Income Tax Credit. This credit is available to people with low incomes, and every year, millions of dollars go unclaimed—and people with disabilities are one large group that doesn't claim this credit. For more information, go to www.eitc.irs.gov
So who is best at this in Indianapolis? For anyone who earned less than $57,000 in 2012, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program) is again available. You can learn more about the sites and what to bring at http://indyscampaign.org/wp/?page_id=14. For more general assistance, or if you’re outside the area, visit the IRS VITA page at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers or call 1-800-906-9887.
By using a service such as this, you’ll get your full refund. Since it's tax season, you've probably already noticed the flood of commercials on local stations advertising fast refunds or other gimmicks—they’ll take a good chunk of your money for a refund that may not come any faster.
Indiana residents should be aware that state credits are available. A quick guide to the Indiana credit can be found at http://www.nccp.org/profiles/IN_profile_27.html. For more information, read Department of Revenue bulletin #92, available as a PDF at http://www.in.gov/dor/reference/files/ib92.pdf. Other information about state tax returns is available at http://www.in.gov/dor/.
Indiana residents should also know that, following a policy adopted in 2011, the state is not mailing tax forms. They are available on-line, and in some public offices.