VITA: Retake Money from the Government to Give to the Poor

If you earned less than $38,348 , you might qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) — money the government gives away. Something like a quarter of those who qualify fail to apply, which is a shame, since I’m sure they could spend the money more wisely than Congress.

To find out if you qualify, how much credit you can expect, and how to apply for it — visit (o en español).

If you want to help other people apply for the credit, you can easily become a volunteer tax preparer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program — the IRS will train you free-of-charge and you don’t need any prior experience in tax preparation. This will be . I helped 17 households take back $20,404 from the U.S. Treasury.

Alas, as far as I can tell, there’s no central on-line resource that can point you to VITA volunteer opportunities in your area. You might try googling or you can call the IRS at 1‒800‒829‒1040 to find out about nearby sites.

As you may have heard, ExxonMobil, favorite bête noir of environmentalists and anti-corporate activists everywhere, posted a $39,500,000,000 profit last year — the biggest ever by a U.S. company.

What you may not have heard, but that the Tax Foundation points out, is that as big as that pile of loot was — the federal government’s take was even bigger: 2½ times bigger. ExxonMobil paid over $100 billion to Uncle Sam last year.

Makes you wonder who’s really gouging at the pump and who’s really making the “windfall profits.”