The IRS is again trying to make sure that everyone who is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit is taking advantage of it. IRS spokesperson, Jodi Patterson, says the credit is based on several factors.
“There are income limits, it depends on the number of children to determine how much you will get,” Patterson says. “I would encourage anyone who makes 53-thousand dollars or less to go to www.irs.gov website. We have a calculator called the EITC assistance that helps everybody determine whether or not they are eligible for this credit.”
The EITC provided more than $66 billion to almost 28 million households last year, but Patterson says there were still those who missed out. “Every year a third of the population of those who are eligible move in an out, people get different jobs, they lose their jobs, and so a lot of people are not aware of it. They will eligible for the first time,” Patterson says. “Four out of five people do claim the credit, but that means 20-percent of the people aren’t getting it.”
Many Iowans do take advantage of the credit. “Last year, 212,000 Iowans receive the credit, that was $462 million that was pumped into the Iowa economy as well as their pockets,” according to Patterson. The IRS tries to raise awareness of the credit each year, but Patterson says they still have people who miss out. “I think a lot of people just don’t know about the credit. If they haven’t received it in the past, they don’t know that they are eligible,” Patterson says. “A lot of times people don’t make enough money to even be required to file a tax return, so they won’t even know that they are eligible — and you have to file a tax return in order to get it.”
Patterson says you don’t have to spend anything to file for the benefit. She says they have the Free File program on their website IRS.gov, where you can file at not cost. The average credit paid in 2013 was $2,400 and for the 2014 tax year, the credit could be as much as $6,143 dollars for a family with three or more children. Patterson, who is the director of return integrity and compliance services, encourages anyone who might be eligible to go to their website and find out for sure.