IRS Encourages Tribal Communities to Check Out the Earned Income Tax Credit

The EITC is a federal income tax credit for workers who don't earn a high income ($53,505 or less for 2016) and meet certain eligibility requirements.

The clinic launched the campaign to promote awareness and have all individuals who qualify claim this benefit.

Families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit should take advantage of the free tax preparation according to officials with the Extension Office. The process should take less than five minutes.

Individuals who do not have a qualifying child and earned under $20,330, may still qualify for a smaller credit, worth as much as $503. This includes home-based businesses and work in the service, construction and agriculture industries. To qualify for EITC, the taxpayer must have earned income either from a job or from self-employment and meet basic rules.

There are many reasons qualified individuals and families do not claim the EITC.

"The tax preparation campaign allows our low-income residents to save the cost of having their taxes filed and helps them get back some of their hard-earned money", said Nick Macchione, director of the County Health and Human Services Agency.

Eligible taxpayers must file a tax return, even if they do not owe any tax or are not required to file. Qualified taxpayers should consider claiming the EITC by filing electronically, whether through a qualified tax professional; using free community tax help sites; or doing it themselves with IRS Free File.

Last year, EITC campaign volunteers filed almost 32,000 federal and state tax returns, bringing about $37 million in total refunds to local working families and individuals. This means that refunds won't show up in your bank account until the week of February 27, 2017. In other words, file as they normally would.

Grandparents and other relatives care for millions of children, but are often not aware that they could claim the children under their care for the EITC.