Tax day April 15th is marching closer. A top I-R-S official says more than 36-thousand lower-income Iowans are cheating themselves out of federal tax refunds. David Williams, director of the Earned Income Tax Credit program, says as many as 20-percent of people who are eligible for the credit -don’t- claim it. The credit is for low-income workers who pay Social Security and federal income tax and it’s designed to help offset those taxes. Williams says the credit can be worth as much as 42-hundred dollars in extra cash and it’s overlooked by about one in every five eligible taxpayers. He says the I-R-S is reaching out to rural states like Iowa, because studies have found the people who aren’t applying for the tax credit are more plentiful here.The credit first became available in 1975 to offset federal taxes and to serve as a work incentive. For the 2001 tax year, some 145-thousand-800 Iowans received more than 220-million dollars in E-I-T-C payments. Still, about 36-thousand Iowans did -not- claim the credit on their 2001 returns, which could have returned to them more than 20-million dollars. Williams says Iowans need to look into whether they’re due some green.To be eligible for the E-I-T-C in tax year 2003, taxpayers must earn less than 33-thousand-692 dollars if they have two or more qualifying children, 29-thousand-666 with one qualifying child or 11-thousand-230 if there are no children. More information is available on the I-R-S website at “www.irs.gov” or by calling 800-829-1040.
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