Don’t Forget the Earned Income Tax Credit!

Take your money. You’ve earned it!

Did you or your family earn less than $48,279 in 2009? You may be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $5,657 this year, but you have to file your return by April 15, 2010.

The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, provides tax credits to working adults and families with low or moderate incomes. Single working adults and married couples without children are even eligible for tax credits of up to $457, and the average EITC refund is more than $1000 per family.

You may be eligible for this tax credit even if you receive government benefits like Social Security, welfare, or unemployment benefits, or other income like child support or alimony, since these are not considered to be earned income.

In North Carolina, more than 100,000 people who are eligible for the EITC fail to claim it every year, leaving more than $100 million dollars unclaimed! At a time when many families are struggling due to the country’s economic crisis, you cannot afford to leave your money unclaimed. This money can be used to buy things you and your family need, like a more reliable vehicle, to pay down your debt, for education or starting your own business, or to save for a home. Click here for a publication about the EITC, Helping North Carolinians Qualify for the New State Earned Income Tax Credit (PDF), from the NC Department of Revenue.

To claim the federal EITC, you must file your federal tax return and for the state of N.C. EITC, you must file a state of NC tax return. If you need help to file your tax return, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) provides free tax preparation services for families with incomes under $50,000, so you can save the money you might pay for tax filing assistance.

For more information about your eligibility for the tax credits, and to find a VITA tax preparation site near you, call the toll-free tax help line at 1-888-927-3230, or visit Take your money, you earned it!