To see if you are eligible, visit either the Franklin or Laconia Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites.

Workers may receive a larger tax refund this year because of the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC. In order to see if you are eligible, you must file a tax return to claim it.

Friday, January 25, 2019 marks the 13th anniversary of Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites. This year, the IRS is providing information on other refundable tax credits for which you may be eligible. This includes the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit.

In 2018, 70,000 EITC claims were filed in New Hampshire with an average tax return of $1,986, representing a total of just over $139 million in refunds.

If you worked last year and had income of less than $54,884, check to see if you are eligible for EITC. It can provide up to a $6,431 refund when you file a return and have qualifying children. Workers without qualifying children could be eligible for a smaller credit of up to $519. On average, EITC adds $2,400 to a tax refund according to the IRS.

Why is it important to have an EITC Awareness Day? Per the IRS, approximately one-third of the EITC population changes each year. The IRS estimates that 4 out of 5 workers claim the EITC they earned, leaving billions of dollars on the table each year. Franklin Savings Bank wants to help spread the word to those who are eligible to file a tax return even if they don’t owe any tax to claim the EITC.

While EITC can be complex, it varies by income, family size and filing status. To be eligible, you must have earned income or certain disability income. This means you must have earned income from working for someone, or if self-employed, yourself.

Volunteers are trained by the IRS and ask the necessary questions to find out if you qualify for EITC as well as other refundable tax credits. Volunteers at VITA or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, prepare and electronically file your tax return at no cost to you. There are three VITA sites located in Franklin and Laconia. The Franklin site is based at the TRIP Center/Bessie Rowell Community Center at 12 Rowell Drive. The Laconia sites are located at the Laconia Senior Center at 17 Church Street and the Community Action Program at 121 Belmont Road. To schedule an appointment, you may call 2-1-1 or visit www.nhtaxhelp.org. To prepare your tax return yourself, visit www.myfreetaxes.com.

Established in 1869, Franklin Savings Bank is an independent, mutually-owned community bank, offering a full array of commercial lending, personal banking and investment services throughout the Central Lakes Region and southern New Hampshire. Headquartered in Franklin, the Bank has offices in Bristol, Boscawen, Tilton, Gilford and Merrimack, as well as an office in Bedford for business lending. Franklin Savings Bank also offers investment, insurance and financial planning services through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Independence Financial Advisors, from offices in Franklin, Bedford, Gilford, Nashua, Rochester and Merrimack, New Hampshire. As a recognized leader in providing the latest in financial services technology, Franklin Savings Bank remains committed to serving the needs of businesses, families and the communities it serves, through a dedicated team of employees, a diverse line of financial products and services, and continued investment in emerging technology.

You can learn more about Franklin Savings Bank by calling 1.800.372.4445, or visiting www.fsbnh.bank, or following the bank on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.