April is Fair Housing Month. Know Your Rights. (Español) (tiếng Việt)
HOUSING DISCRIMINATION IS ILLEGAL.
The Fair Housing Act protects your rights. In housing, it is illegal for you to be treated differently because of your:
Race Color National origin Religion Sex (Gender) Family status (if you have children under 18 in your home, pregnant women, single fathers) Disability (including AIDS and AIDS-related diseases) You may have other protections depending on where you live. Some LGBT discrimination may be protected by the federal Fair Housing Act.
If you would like to know more, check out the information below:
A Matter of Place, a documentary on housing discrimination Note: Some fair housing protections discussed in this film may depend on where you live.
Seven Days, a short film about the impact of MLK’s assassination on the Fair Housing Act.
If you think your rights may have been violated or for more information:
Lone Star Legal Aid - 1.800.733.8394, ext. 2529
GET THE TAX CREDITS YOU DESERVE (Español)
Did you know that many people are eligible for valuable tax credits every year? Whether or not you owe any income tax, you could get thousands of dollars in tax benefits. To get these credits, you must file a tax return.
Find out where you can get your taxes prepared for free. Check out this list of Tax Prep Clinic Locations or call Lone Star Legal Aid at 800.733.8394. You can also contact 2-1-1, the IRS at 800.906.9887, or visit http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep When you have your tax return prepared, make sure you ask about the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. You can find helpful information in our Outreach Packet (Also in Español). If you don’t have children, you still may be eligible for some portion of the EITC. For more information, contact Lone Star Legal Aid at 800.733.8394. Or visit these sites:
Tax scams that use email and phone calls that appear to come from the IRS are common these days. These scams often use the IRS name and logo or fake websites that look real.
Scammers often send an email or call to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information. The crooks then use this information to commit identity theft or steal your money. Some call their victims to demand payment on a pre-paid debit card or by wire transfer. But the IRS will not initiate contact with you to ask for this information by phone or email. If you get this type of ’phishing’ email, the IRS offers this advice:
Don’t reply to the message. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer. Don’t give out your personal or financial information. Forward the email to email@example.com. Then delete it. If you get an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:
Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
If you think you may owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you.
If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 to report the incident.
You should also report it to the Federal Trade Commission by using their "FTC Complaint Assistant" on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
Be alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS will not initiate contact with you through social media or text to ask for your personal or financial information.
More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on IRS.gov.
Announcing TEXAS COURT HELP
The website, www.TexasCourtHelp.org, contains videos and other information about topics such as how to find and work with a lawyer, what court staff can and cannot do to help, where to find forms, getting ready to go to court, how to act in court, protective orders, and mediation. It was developed by a partnership including Lone Star, OCA, Texas Legal Services Center, and the Access to Justice Commission and funded by a grant from the Legal Services Corporation.