It’s that time of year when taxes begin to be on peoples’ minds. But the IRS is worried not enough people know about the Earned Income Tax Credit – which is the federal government’s biggest anti-poverty program. So – they’ve pronounced today Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day.
Last year, more than 77,000 needy Granite Staters received a total of $140 million dollars through the EITC. But those numbers could be higher. Nationally, the IRS estimates that one in five people who are eligible don’t know how to receive their money. And the sums are nothing to laugh at – some families can receive as much as $5,800.
One problem, says New Hampshire Attorney Barbara Stewart, is that people make mistakes while filing an income tax return – even if they go to a professional. Another problem is that “people don’t realize it’s out there,” Stewart says. If your income is below a certain threshold, you aren’t required to file a tax return. So, many low income people “never get to the point of seeing a form or a question that would make them think Oh maybe I do qualify for this.”
Find out who qualifies:
Online eligibility assistant
If you earn under $50,000 you can get free in-person tax preparation assistance from VITA or the AARP. Call 211 or go to 211nh.org for more information.
The New Hampshire Bar Association’s Low-Income Taxpayer Project provides assistance for many tax problems at no charge: (603) 228 6028 (between 8:30am and 5:00pm).