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Tax Credit Easily Overlooked, Says Lentol

WILLIAMSBURG — Millions of workers could overlook a special federal tax credit because they don’t know about it, according to Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Greenpoint/Williamsburg). 
 
As a result, they could miss out on up to $5,751 extra in their federal income tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. Last year, on average, the credit boosted refunds for eligible workers by $2,100.
 
“This money can make a real difference to workers struggling in this recovering economy” said Lentol.
 
Anyone earning $49,078 or less from wages, self-employment or farming in 2011 should see if they qualify. Eligible workers must file federal income tax returns — even if they are not required to file — and specifically must claim the credit to get it.
 
Many people will qualify for the first time this year due to economic changes in their income or changes in their marital or parental statuses according to the IRS.  The agency estimates four out of five eligible workers currently claim their EITC. 
 
“We want to raise that to five out of five,” Lentol said. “They earned it. Now they need to file, claim it and get it.”
 
Workers can get free help determining their EITC eligibility and claiming the credit. Many communities have volunteer income tax assistance sites. Residents can locate a site by calling the IRS at (800) 906-9887.
 
To help preparers, either volunteer or paid, accurately determine EITC eligibility and prepare returns, individuals should bring:
 
• Photo proof of identification;
• Social Security cards for themselves, their spouse and all dependents or Social Security number verification letters issued by the Social Security Administration;
• Birth dates for all persons listed on the tax return;
• Wage and earning statement Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R, from all employers;
• Interest and dividend statements from banks (Form 1099);
• Copies of their prior year federal and state returns, if available;
• Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit of their refunds;
• Other relevant information about income and expenses;
• Amounts paid for day care, if applicable, and the day care provider’s identifying number.
 
“EITC is a financial boost for working people in a recovering economy and allows more funds to flow within your community.  It’s money that can make lives a little easier,” Lentol said.
February 6, 2012 - 11:47am


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