Families Urged To File Income Taxes

For low- to moderate-income Oregon families, filing a tax return is the key step toward claiming a series of refundable tax credits that could mean thousands of dollars in their pockets.

Four key tax credits can provide valuable financial assistance to families in Oregon, if they file a tax return.

• The federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) helps families with qualifying children get a tax break.

• The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable credit available to low- to moderate-income workers and families. Qualifying criteria are available on the IRS website .

• Taxpayers who qualify for the federal EITC can also claim the Oregon earned income credit (EIC). A new law passed by the Oregon Legislature makes the Oregon EIC available to taxpayers using a federal Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) rather than a Social Security number. See the department’s website for more information on this new law.

• The Working Family Household and Dependent Care Credit (WFHDC) is a tax credit that helps low- to moderate-income families pay for the care of their dependents while they're working or looking for work.

All four of these tax credits for families are fully or partially refundable, meaning the portion of the credit that is more than what the taxpayer owes can be refunded to them. Even individuals and families who don’t owe any tax can claim these credits.

But only if they file a tax return.

Filing help is available

The agency website has information on several options to file a return for free , including free guided tax preparation available from several companies for taxpayers that meet income requirements.

The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals. Low- to moderate-income taxpayers can also access preparation services through AARP and CASH Oregon. United Way also offers free tax help through their MyFreeTaxes program. More information on these options is available on the department’s website .

E-filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund 34 days sooner than taxpayers who mail their paper returns and request paper refund checks.

To check the status of your refund or make payments, visit Revenue’s website . You can also call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), we accept all relay calls.

Source: Oregon Department of Revenue

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