Sometimes, it takes a learned person to see things that mortals like myself can't. For instance, many seniors don't need to file a Federal income tax return and they therefore don't file anything, including a return for the State of Hawaii. Professor Roy states, "If no one is claiming a low-income (retiree) Hawaii resident as a dependent, then definitely that person will want to file a Hawaii tax return to claim the Food/Excise Tax Refundable Credit which can be as much as $85."
Professor Roy always in deep thought
He was gently instructing me to do some research on the credits that Hawaii offers, including low-income household renters credit, child and dependent care credit, child passenger restraint systems and so forth. Yep! I'm a dunce for sure. Flashbacks of a kid sitting on a stool in front of the class with a pointed hat come to mind.
The Excise Tax Credit is in place to allow low-income residents some relief against this regressive tax that they pay when buying goods and services. And it's available only if one files a Hawaii tax return. Professor Roy says that if not filed for by December 31, 2010, the refundable tax credit is lost.
Professor Roy Kamida is a CPA and oversees the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program from Leeward Community College. This is the last week that free tax preparation service is available at Leeward Community College so check his website for times and days.
Many seniors, especially those in nursing homes are not able to get out to the site and the program can only be offered where the computers and the tax programs are in place on either disks or on a network. However, what many people can do is to have a family member bring the documents needed to file a tax return and the VITA volunteers can prepare a paper return for the kupuna to sign and mail in. As an alternative, even family members may be able to prepare this very simple return and help the senior to obtain the credits.
There are many other sites around the State where volunteers will be preparing free tax returns until April 15, so check Professor Roy's website for the details.