At tax time, many New York State residents may be missing out on thousands of dollars in tax refunds.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is often overlooked and undervalued, which is why Im encouraging hardworking Rochester area families to claim it before the April 18 deadline to file 2010 taxes. Last year, New Yorkers received an average EITC refund of $2,700. Unfortunately, one out of every five taxpayers fails to apply for the credit.
Most of those families who dont claim the tax credit arent aware of its benefit. This is a tax credit that may offer truly significant savings for eligible families. The EITC gives families a chance to meet day-to-day expenses and possibly save for their future. Dont miss out on this opportunity.
The EITC was created to offset Social Security taxes for lower income workers. The Assembly championed the establishment of a state EITC, and in 2002 increased its value to 30 percent of the federal credit. Your state and federal EITC refunds can result in a $7,365 refund for eligible families.
To be eligible for the federal and the New York State EITC, you must:
- Have worked full or part time at some point during the calendar year;
- Be a single or married person raising qualifying children at home;
- Have income below $35,535 ($40,545 if married) with one qualifying child;
- Have income below $40,363 ($45,373 if married) with two qualifying children;
- Have income below $43,352 ($48,362 if married) with three or more qualifying children; or
- Be a worker between the ages of 25 and 65 and earn less than $13,460 ($18,470 if married) with no qualifying children.
In an economy like this, these tax credits go a long way toward paying for all the little things that add up, and it is vitally important that we do all we can to help struggling families stretch budgets and make them aware of their eligibility. This tax credit not only helps families pay bills, buy clothing and maintain their homes, but it also provides a boost to local economies during tax refund season.
To learn more about the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and eligibility, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov. For information on New York taxes and the state EITC, visit www.tax.state.ny.us, or call my office at 244-5255.