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EITC can help taxpayers, if they're aware
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (1/22/13)--Jan. 25 might be a day that few folks have marked on their calendars, but it's a date worth noting. Friday is National Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Day--and the credit can mean money in your pocket ( Jan. 11).

State and local government agencies, employers, elected officials, and charitable and social organizations will join to raise awareness about the EITC on this day.

The EITC is a federal tax credit that can help low- to moderate-income working individuals and families, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The credit can result in larger tax returns. Some important details about claiming the credit are below: To qualify for the credit, you must:

  • File a tax return with the IRS. This is true even if you don't owe any taxes or are not required to file. Many individuals miss out on the credit simply because they don't file.
  • Have earned income. To qualify, you must have earned income from employment or another source.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Cannot have a filing status of married filing separately.
You'll need to meet additional rules to qualify for the credit. Search for EITC at the website.

Tax specialists at your credit union can offer additional guidance about the EITC. Many credit unions collaborate with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs to help consumers who can't afford to pay for professional tax preparation services. VITA programs provide free tax assistance for low-to moderate-income individuals with an adjusted gross annual income of $50,000 or less.

For more information about filing taxes, watch the video "Getting Tax Records Organized" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

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