TAX TIME is just around the corner so I’m sending you few words about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
The Earned Income Tax Credit is an income tax refund for low to moderate income working individuals and families.
To be eligible, you must file a tax return -- regardless of annual earnings. An individual whose Adjusted Gross Income is below $13,660, for example, will likely be eligible for a refund of $464, even if he pays no taxes for 2011.
The Adjusted Gross Income of a family with three or more children can be as high as $49,078 and receive the credit. In this case the refund would total $5,751.
Also, this refund can be claimed retroactively for a maximum of three years. A parent or officially designated guardian with three or more dependents that haven’t claimed the refund can submit claims for 2008 and each year since, and, if eligible, could receive approximately $20,000 in one lump sum!
You don’t have to be a parent to qualify for the credit. Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and siblings – Foster Parents, too – can receive this refund. The only requirements are that the qualifying children are under 18 years of age – or under 23 if attending school full time -- are related by blood or have been officially placed in the claimant’s care. They must also have lived at home with the claimant for at least half a year.
Now here’s a very important point of those receiving SSI: This refund does not count against SSI’s or Medi-Cal’s asset limits! These funds are exempt.
The money can be spent or saved. And there are ways to save it and make it grow, with no interruption to income and/or healthcare services.
And, if you’re looking for some free tax help, make an appointment for assistance at a VITA site. VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. VITA folks have been trained by the IRS specifically to help fill out the necessary tax documents and make sure that if a refund is coming to you – any kind of refund including the EITC – you will receive it as quickly as possible. Check www.IRS.gov for VITA locations or Google VITA sites, Southern California.
So, that’s it. To find out more about the Earned Income Tax Credit go to www.irs.gov or call me at 626-254-5000. I’ll be happy to assist.
Michael J. Van Essen
Director, Benefits Establishment
800 S. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 254-5043 (office)
(626) 254-0661 (fax)
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