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Neal urges eligible taxpayers to seek free assistance

February 12, 2008
Press Release

Many working families still eligible for tax credit

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Richard E. Neal today urged working families in western and central Massachusetts to determine whether they are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is available primarily for low-income working families, but households earning as much as $39,000 may also be eligible. More than 22 million taxpayers nationally received approximately $43.7 billion in EITC in 2007. This year, the maximum credit for a family of two or more children is $4,716.

“I am doing everything I can to get all working families the tax credits they have earned. I believe the true purpose of the EITC was to encourage low-income workers to remain active in the workforce. The IRS has estimated that about 20% of eligible families nationally are still unaware that they qualify for the EITC. In my district alone, there are as many as 10,000 families that should be claiming credits up to $4,000 per household,” said Congressman Neal.

During the 2007 filing season, there were 40,866 EITC returns in the 2nd Congressional District totaling $72,375,918. Of that number, 61% used a paid preparer, and only 3% used the free IRS taxpayer assistance. Based on these numbers, 25,111 recipients had to pay for taxpayer assistance.

“Unfortunately, this tax credit for working families is very complex, which is why many of the recipients had to pay a professional for assistance. I strongly encourage those who are eligible, or who think they are eligible, to seek out the free assistance offered locally,” said Neal.

The IRS offers regional Taxpayer Assistance Centers that help people with filing their tax returns, including
claims for the EITC. On Saturday, February 16, the IRS center will be located in the Federal Building, 1550 Main Street, Springfield. The office will be open to the public from 8:30am to 12:30pm.

Taxpayers interested in determining whether they are eligible for the EITC may also visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/eitc. Those taxpayers who do qualify can also use the website to find other taxpayer assistance locations and use the IRS Free File Program.