Tax credit available for certain taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and its partners, are reaching out to modest-income families who may be eligible to receive as much as $5,600 simply filing a Federal income tax form.

Today marks the IRS's Fifth Annual Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, to highlight the tax credit for working families and individuals making $48,362 or less from wages, self-employment or farming, according to IRS Spokesman Mark Green.

Green noted that, last year, four out of five eligible taxpayers claimed the EITC, and obtained an additional $2,200 from the credit, on average.

"We are happy [those taxpayers] receive their EITC, because we know that EITC is a financial boost for working people hit hard economic times," Green said. "Now, if we can only reach the remaining potential recipients, who have earned the EITC, get them to claim it, and get it, we will have done them a great service."

Millions of workers earn low-to-moderate incomes in the United States, said the IRS official. Green said many taxpayers will qualify for the EITC for the first time this year, due to changes in their incomes. He said taxpayers move into, and out of, EITC eligibility based on changes in their earnings, their parental status, or their marital status.

Taxpayers can find out it they qualify visiting the IRS' web site at www.IRS.gov, and typing "EITC" into the search field, he said. Eligible workers can get their EITC only if they file federal income tax returns — even if they are not otherwise required to file — and specifically claim the credit.

Green added that taxpayers have choices for free help in claiming the credit, including Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. To locate a nearVITA site, call the local 211 or 311 number, or call the IRS, at (800) 906-9887. Help also is available at IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers, whose addresses are available at the IRS web site.

Green said the IRS will hold its "EITC Saturday," this Saturday, at select offices, to provide assistance on basic tax preparation, and answer questions posed those families and individuals making $49,000 or less. Office locations are available at the IRS web site.

Green said many taxpayers, who qualify for EITC, may also be eligible for free tax preparation, such as IRS Free File, and electronic filing participating tax professionals and volunteers.