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Neal urges eligible workers to claim tax credit

February 4, 2010
Press Release

Neal urges eligible workers to claim tax credit

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Richard Neal today urged working families in his Congressional district to determine whether they may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is available to working families with earned incomes of less than $43,279 ($48,279 married filing jointly). The EITC is refundable, offsets any tax liability with the balance provided to the taxpayer in the form of a tax refund. Nationwide last year, over 24 million working families received nearly $50 billion in EITC. In Massachusetts alone, $603 million in refunds were awarded.

“During these very hard economic times for working families, I am committed to seeing all eligible families apply for this tax credit. This tax credit was designed specifically for low income workers to remain active in today’s workforce. Nationally, five million families each year are lifted out of poverty due to this tax credit. Last year alone, eligible Massachusetts residents received an average benefit of $1,774.”

The IRS has estimated that up to 25% of qualifying workers who fail to claim the EITC miss out on thousands of dollars each year. The IRS states that many of these workers include those who are self-employed, disabled, childless, older, recently unemployed, or living in rural areas.

“Even though last year roughly 340,000 Massachusetts families claimed this credit, there are still thousands of families who are unaware that they qualify for these benefits. I encourage those who are eligible, or think they may be, to seek out the free tax assistance offered nearby.”

The IRS offers Taxpayer Assistance Centers that will assist people with filing tax returns, including claims for the EITC. For those persons who are unable to seek assistance during the work week, these offices will open on two upcoming Saturdays (February 6th and February 20th) from 9:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. at the center located on 1550 Main Street, Springfield, MA. Taxpayers interested in determining whether they are eligible for the EITC, may visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/eitc.