Tax credits mystify many Americans. It’s hard to know which ones you qualify for and why. But if you take the trouble, they can provide meaningful savings on your overall tax contribution and in some cases lead to a tax refund.
One of the most substantial credits for taxpayers is the Earned Income Tax Credit. Established in 1975 — in part to offset the burden of Social Security taxes and to provide an incentive to work — the EITC is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and couples—particularly those with children. The credit can be worth up to $6,044, depending on your income and how many dependents you have, but one in five tax filers overlook this opportunity, according to the Internal Revenue Service. You must file a tax return to claim the EITC and if you have children, they must meet the relationship, age and residency requirements.
To learn more and find out if you qualify, visit http://www.irs.gov/eitc. You can also seek free tax help and answers to your EITC questions through VITA – the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The United Way is hosting 20 VITA sites in the Midsouth. Visit the IRS’s Free Tax Prep Help page to find the location nearest you.