More families than ever may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit this year, including those hit hard by tough economic times that can use a financial boost.
IRS is organizing a special EITC Awareness Day on Friday, January 29, 2010, to try to reach out to taxpayers eligible for the credit. Scores of events will be held across the country to help people claim the credit, including one sponsored by the Milwaukee Asset Building Coalition (MABC).
The MABC kickoff event will take place at Noon at 2701 S. Chase Avenue, Suite D, Milwaukee, featuring presentations and free Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (VITA). Last year, VITA sites sponsored by MABC prepared more than 10,000 tax returns resulting in more than $14 million in refunds and credits to local taxpayers.
“We know that approximately one out of four families who qualify for the EITC fail to claim it,” said IRS spokesperson Christopher Miller. “That means families are leaving hundreds of dollars on the table. We know every dollar counts and we’re trying to reach out to all eligible taxpayers to help ensure they get the credit they deserve.”
This year changes in the law mean more money for larger families. Families with three or more qualifying children can receive a maximum of $5,657. In addition, married couples filing a joint tax return can earn up to $48,279 and claim the credit if they have three or more qualifying dependents. This top income threshold has increased from $41,646 last year with two qualifying dependents.
Last year nearly 334,000 taxpayers claimed the EITC in Wisconsin. More than $625 million in this credit was claimed on those income tax returns.
Taxpayers should know that this credit is refundable. In other words, you may owe no taxes but you can still be paid the credit. You must file a tax return, however, in order to claim the credit.
There are many opportunities available to get free tax help in preparing a tax return, including Free File where you can prepare and file an electronic tax form via the IRS.gov web site. Help is also available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in community locations across the country. To check for the nearest VITA site call 1-800-906-9887.
You can find more information on the Earned Income Tax Credit by going to EITC central at http://www.eitc.irs.gov. In addition, there is a web site calculator that will allow you to determine if you qualify for the credit by just answering a few simple questions. You will find the Earned Income Tax Credit Assistant at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=130102,00.html .
“EITC has been making the lives of working people easier for 35 years, and we want taxpayers who are eligible to take advantage of it,” said Miller.