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Puerto Rico NGOs urge people to claim their tax credits early 

As the new tax filing cycle begins, member organizations of the Alliance for Economic Security, Hispanic Federation, the Youth Development Institute, and Espacios Abiertos are urging eligible individuals and families to take advantage of the free assistance that the alliance and its partners have been offering for three consecutive years to help with tax filing process. 

This year, employed individuals, self-employed individuals and retirees earning less than $48,544 annually may be eligible for up to $7,173 through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) by filing their tax return with the Puerto Rico Treasury Department via its Internal Revenue Unified System (SURI, in Spanish). As for the Child Tax Credit (CTC), it is claimed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing the federal 1040-PR form.

In 2024, the maximum refundable benefit for CTC will be up to $1,600 per eligible child up to 16 years old. The credit and refund amount vary based on marital status, income and number of dependents. 

ReclamaTuDineroPR provides information on eligibility requirements and features calculators for estimating potential credits and financial relief, either as a credit or refund. The platform also helps individuals locate free assistance centers for tax filing and schedule appointments, which began on Thursday. 

Allied organizations such as Nuestra Escuela (in Caguas), Boys and Girls Club (in Loíza and Arecibo), Guardarraya Unidos por un Patrimonio Educativo (GUPE in Patillas), Corporación de Servicios de Salud Primaria y Desarrollo Socioeconómico EL OTOAO (COSSAO in Utuado), Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio (P.E.C.E.S. in Humacao), Consumer Credit Counseling Services (San Juan), and One Stop Career Center (Arecibo) offer free assistance for filing state and federal tax returns in their communities.

The initiative is possible due to federal funding allocated to the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority through the American Rescue Plan Act, with additional philanthropic contributions from the Hispanic Federation. 

“From the Hispanic Federation, we want to support communities in accessing these benefits, which are much-needed relief,” said Charlotte Gossett-Navarro, director of Hispanic Federation Puerto Rico. “That’s why we are here united in the alliance to provide support and amplify its impact. Our call is for quick action and not to wait until the April 15th deadline; claiming these incentives early ensures that you receive them as soon as possible.”

Cecille Blondet, executive director of Espacios Abiertos, which focuses on government transparency and accountability, said that the nonprofit’s “most recent analysis estimates that in 2024, more than 669,000 taxpayers could benefit from the EITC,” with more than $1.29 billion potentially disbursed. 

“Using the experience of recent years as a basis, and with the maximum work credit now increased to $7,173, Espacios Abiertos projects that the average work credit will be around $1,932 for taxpayers with no dependents, $2,700 for those with one dependent, $4,100 for those with two dependents and $4,800 for households with three or more dependents. Each case and each credit is different. That’s why it’s important to know the requirements for each credit,” she said.

“This year, the maximum Child Tax Credit increases to $1,600 per child. This credit undoubtedly has a transformative impact on the lives of working families. For many heads of households, this income means the possibility of accessing higher-quality food, developmental opportunities for their children and even starting a business,” said Estela Reyes-Rodríguez, advocacy manager at the Youth Development Institute.

“The message is clear: Don’t leave it until the last minute so you can receive your credit as soon as possible, and if you have any doubts, visit ReclamaTuDineroPR.com,” she added.

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