Earned Income Tax Credit a benefit for county residents who qualify


Almost 800 Marion County taxpayers received more than $1.2 million in Earned Income Tax Credit last year.

“This year, and expanded, EITC can put up to $5,756 into the pockets of low-income working individuals and families,” said IRS spokesman Michael Devine.

“If they qualify and claim the credit, they could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even receive a refund beyond the amount of tax withheld.”

The EITC was created in 1975 in part to offset the burden of Social Security taxes and to serve as a work incentive. Last year more than 186,000 Kansas individuals and families received more than $360 million.

But the IRS estimates that as many as one-in-four eligible taxpayers fail to claim this tax credit because they are unaware of the EITC or they don’t know how to claim it.

Devine said people who fail to claim EITC typically include workers without qualifying children, people who are not required to file a tax return, farmers, people with disabilities, non-English speakers, rural residents, new parents, grandparents raising grandchildren and foster parents.

To find out if someone is eligible, the IRS suggests using the EITC Assistant on the IRS.gov Web site.

“It is an easy-to-use interactive tool to help determine if you are qualified for EITC,” Devine said. It answers questions about eligibility, filing status and qualifying children, and is available in Spanish.

Many taxpayers who qualify for EITC may also be eligible for free tax preparation through the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites.

Trained community volunteers can help with special credits, such as EITC, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly. To find the closest site, call toll-free 1-800-906-9887.

For more information about EITC, go to the IRS.gov Web site and don’t be confused by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations, he said.

 


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