Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wyandotte County residents received $49.4 million in EITC

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Last year 18,546 working individuals and families in Wyandotte County received more than $49.4 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). An average of $2,666.

"The EITC can put an extra $496 to $6,143 into the pockets of low income working individuals and families," said IRS spokesman Michael Devine. "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 as a work incentive. In Kansas, the EITC was worth more than $492 million to more than 212,500 working individuals and families last year. The average EITC benefit was $2,307.

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. EITC, combined with the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit, lifts more than 10 million people out of poverty annually; more than half are children.

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

“About one-third of the EITC eligible population turns over each year. So anyone who made less than $52,427 needs to check their eligibility at,” said Devine.

Nationwide, almost 28 million households received more than $65 billion. The average credit was $2,400.