Fort Scott Tribune (Kansas)
By: Tribune Staff
March 2, 2010
Nearly 1,400 taxpayers in Bourbon County received more than $2.8 million -- an average of $2,051 per taxpayer -- in Earned Income Tax Credits last year, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
"This year an expanded EITC can put up to $5,756 into the pockets of low-income working individuals and families," IRS spokesman Michael Devine said. "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 individuals and families in Kansas received more than $360 million. However, 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.
Devine added that 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.
The IRS suggests that local residents who wish to find out if they are eligible for the tax credit use the EITC Assistant on the www.IRS.gov Web site.
"It is an easy-to-use interactive tool to help determine if you are qualified for EITC," Devine said.
The site answers questions about eligibility, filing status, qualifying children, and is also 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 (800) 906-9887.
Free tax preparation is available for people with income less than $49,000 who cannot prepare their own tax return. Trained community volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites can help with special credits, such as EITC, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly. To find the closest site, call (800) 906-9887.
For more information about EITC, visit .