One-third of Americans Experience Short-Term Poverty: How Can the Earned Income Tax Credit Make a Difference?

EITC_Bag_Riverside_County

Did you know that over one-third of the U.S. population experiences short term poverty? Many Americans can be poor one month and then not the next, having a varied poverty level throughout the year. Between 2009-2012, 34.5%, over one third, of our population had at least one “spell” of poverty lasting a minimum of two months. (U.S. Census Bureau, Dynamics of Economic Well Being)

Chances are that you can relate to these numbers. If so, you or your clients might be eligible to receive an earned income tax credit (EITC). This is a tax benefit designed to help low- to moderate-income working people get ahead. Eligible workers who claim the EITC on their tax return can receive a refund even if they do not owe income tax. In addition to the EITC, you could also be eligible for the child tax credit or additional child tax credit (CTC/ACTC) or the American opportunity tax credit (AOTC).

How Do I Claim the EITC and receive up to $6,269  in Cash?

Ensure that you receive the credit you have earned and deserve by choosing the assistance that is right for you:

  • Thurston County Free Tax Preparation Service Sites:

The Thurston Asset Building Coalition in partnership with the AARP Free Tax Prep Foundation offer free tax preparation services for low-to-moderate-income working people. The sites are staffed by trained and certified volunteers.

These volunteers, trained by the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program and certified by the IRS, ask you the needed questions to find out if you qualify for the EITC and other refundable tax credits like the Child Tax Credit. Volunteers at Tax-Aide sites, also prepare and e-file (electronically file) your tax return at no cost to you. The program welcomes taxpayers of all ages and backgrounds.

  • IRS EITC Website Information:

https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit

A few guidelines for who is eligible:

While the earned income tax credit is complex and varies by income, family size and your filing status, to be eligible, you must have earned income or certain disability income. This means you must have income from working for someone or working for yourself.
EITC is for workers whose income does not exceed the following limits in 2016:

  • $47,955 ($53,505 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $44,648 ($50,198 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $39,296 ($44,846 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $14,880 ($20,430 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

** Investment income must be $3,400 or less

Don’t Miss Another Year to Claim Your Earned Income Tax Credit!

Last year in Washington state alone, there were 426,000 EITC claims, resulting in $926 million in people’s pockets, on average, $2,177 and up to $6296 per claim!

Find a FREE Tax-Prep site near you.


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