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County residents received $6 million in EITC last year

Average recipient got $1,987

Published: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 10:59 a.m. CDT

More than 3,000 Grundy County taxpayers received more than $6 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) last year, an average of $1,987.   

"The EITC can put an extra $464 to $5,751 into the pockets of low income working individuals and families," said IRS spokesman Michael Devine.  Adding, "if they qualify and claim the credit, they could pay less federal tax or even receive a refund beyond the amount of tax withheld."

The EITC was created in 1975 in part to offset the burden of Social Security taxes and to serve as a work incentive.  In Illinois, almost one million low- to moderate-income workers received more than $2.25 billion in EITC, an average of $2,250 per return.

The IRS estimates that four out of five eligible taxpayers claim this tax credit, but some do not because they are unaware of the EITC or they don't know how to claim it.

Those eligible to claim EITC but don't include non-English speakers, individuals who are self-employed or have service jobs in private households, childless taxpayers, rural residents, and recipients of other types of public assistance such as food stamps.  New parents, grandparents raising grandchildren and foster parents may not realize they qualify. 

Some families, such as those in the military and those raising children with disabilities, may not realize there are special rules that may help them qualify. 

To make it easier to determine eligibility for this credit, the IRS has a self-help tool, the EITC Assistant at the www.irs.gov web site. 

The program answers questions about eligibility, filing status, qualifying children and credit amount. It is also is available in Spanish.

For more information about EITC or any IRS program, visit www.IRS.gov

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