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2/9/2012 - Are You Overlooking a Valuable Tax Credit?

Are You Overlooking a Valuable Tax Credit?

February 9, 2012

Cumberland County Freeholder Director Carl Kirstein wants to make sure eligible local residents take advantage of a valuable tax credit when they file their returns this year.

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a financial boost for working taxpayers with low or moderate income that can provide a working family with up to $5,751.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, one out of five eligible taxpayers don’t claim it on their federal return. And that could include many residents of Cumberland County.

Carl Kirstein, Director
Carl Kirstein, Director

 
“The economy has hit our residents particularly hard over the past few years,” said Kirstein. “If there are tax breaks that can help working families out – even a little bit – we want to make sure they know about them.”

To claim the EITC, taxpayers must earn wages during the year. There's a cap on earnings in order to qualify. For 2011 returns, the highest income limits are for households with three or more children. In that case, for single workers the cap is $43,998; the threshold rises to $49,078 for married couples filing joint returns.

Lower wage earners and those with more children get the largest tax credit, which top out this year at a maximum of $5,751 for workers with three or more children. A single person with no children may be eligible for a credit of up to $464.

The exact number of workers eligible for the EITC varies from year to year, the Internal Revenue Service says, because of life changes like marriage, births or adoptions and job loss.

Workers who qualify for the EITC also might be eligible for a similar credit on their New Jersey State income tax return.

Anyone with earnings under $49,078 should see if they qualify at www.irs.gov/eitc, or by visiting a volunteer tax assistance site or local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.