The I-R-S wants more people in Iowa to claim a tax benefit they’re not getting. The Earned Income Tax Credit participation rate is below 75-percent here, and the program’s David Williams says that means people are missing out on getting cash in their pockets, a select group of taxpayers who could really use it. People who have low incomes and work. If they’ve earned their income and they don’t have much money, they may be eligible for the credit. He says they estimate is that nationwide, 75-percent of taxpayers who are eligible for the E-I-T-C claim it. The largest group of people who could claim the credit but don’t is found among people who don’t have children and so don’t think they’re eligible. Williams says there are several ways the many Iowans currently not claiming their Earned-Income Tax Credit can find out about it. They can go to the website irs-dot-gov on the Internet and click on the “EITC Assistant,” a new feature this year to help taxpayers figure out if they qualify for the credit, and for how much. Or people can walk into one of 14-thousand volunteer income-tax assistance sites the IRS runs around the country that help prepare tax returns for free. In some IRS offices they might even find help preparing their taxe forms to claim that earned income tax credit. Or if a professional tax preparer does the return, be sure to ask them about it. It can mean up to 43-hundred dollars in cash, he says, adding that an example would be a married couple with two kids earning a total between 10-thousand-700 dollars a year and 15-thousand could get that maximum credit. Williams says one reason people don’t file for the tax credit is that with a low income, they may not be required to file a tax return. Even if they don’t have to pay in to the government, he says it’s worth it to file the form. The tax is refundable, he says, so even if you don’t have to pay taxes, the government will send you a check for that Earned Income Tax Credit amount. That’s the reason Williams says people who aren’t sure should get help with their taxes and find out what they may have coming. Iowa’s one of the states in which only three out of four people who COULD get the credit are claiming it.
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