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Earned Income Tax Credit brings millions to county

Published: January 28, 2011 9:04 AM

Last year, approximately 3,900 low to moderate income taxpayers in Guernsey County claimed and received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). As a result, more than $8.4 million in EITC money " an average of $2,171 per taxpayer -- came back to county residents, to be saved or spent as each recipient saw fit.

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that about 80 percent of those who qualify for EITC apply for and receive it, but many still miss out because they fail to claim their EITC. Beginning with EITC Awareness Day on Jan. 28 and extending throughout the month of February, the IRS is reaching out to potentially qualifying taxpayers to educate them about the credit and motivate them to file and claim it.

People who earned $48,362 or less from wages, self-employment or farming in 2010 should check to see if they qualify. Workers who may qualify for EITC include those who live in rural areas, those who are self-employed, those who receive certain disability pensions or have children with disabilities, those who are not proficient in English, those who are grandparents raising their grandchildren, and those who are recently divorced, unemployed, or have experienced other status changes.

This year, the EITC benefit tops out at $5,666 for married taxpayers who have three or more qualifying children and who file a joint return, but parenthood is not required to qualify. The EITC Assistant tool on www.irs.gov can help determine EITC eligibility and filing status, as well as estimate the amount of credit you may be due. Help can also be found at IRS Taxpayer Assistant Centers and at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. EITC " if you earned it, file, claim it and get it.

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