Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - The IRS has issued a statement calling taxpayers to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. This credit has been helping workers with low and moderate incomes get a tax break for over 40 years. Yet, according to IRS data, one out of every five eligible workers fails to claim it.

Here are some things that according to the IRS, taxpayers should know about the Earned Income Tax Credit (also called EITC):

Review Your Eligibility. Taxpayers who worked and earned under $53,505 may qualify for EITC. Filers should review EITC eligibility rules if their household income or family situation has changed. They may qualify for EITC this year, even if they did not in the past. To qualify, a taxpayer must file a federal income tax return claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit. This is true even if a taxpayer is not otherwise required to file a tax return.

Know the Rules. Taxpayers need to understand the rules before they claim the EITC. It is important to get this right. Here are some factors to consider:

o Taxpayers who are married and file a separate return do not qualify for the EITC.

o Filers must have a Social Security number valid for employment for themselves, their spouse (if married), and any qualifying child listed on their filed tax return.

o Taxpayers must have earned income. This may include earnings from working for someone else as an employee or being self-employed.

o Filers may be married or single, with or without children to qualify. Those who do not have children must also meet the age, residency and dependency rules. For a child to qualify, they must have lived with the taxpayer for more than six months in 2016. In addition, the child must meet the age, residency, relationship and joint return rules to qualify.

o U.S. Armed Forces members serving in a combat zone have special rules that apply.

According to the IRS, filers who qualify for EITC could pay less federal tax, no tax or even get a refund. The EITC could be worth up to $6,269. The average credit was $2,482 in 2016.

The EITC is YOUR money. Now it’s the time to claim it!

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