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Money-Saving Tax Credit Often Goes Unclaimed

The earned income tax credit is available to millions of taxpayers, but around 20 percent of those eligible don’t claim it.

The IRS is encouraging low- and moderate-income workers to find out if they qualify for the earned income tax credit, which is available to those making around $50,000 or less.

One in five tax filers that are eligible for the credit fail to take advantage of it, costing them a potentially significant boost to their refunds. People can find out if they qualify online with the EITC assistant on the IRS website.   

“A large part of the nation sees major changes every year with their tax situation,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller. “This year, millions of workers could qualify for EITC for the first time, and the IRS urges them not to overlook this valuable credit.”

California taxpayers received $6.8 billion from the EITC in 2012, with 2,084 workers in Encinitas getting $3,122,451. Qualifying for the credit could mean up to $475 for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $5,891 for those with three or more qualifying children.

Unlike most deductions and credits, the EITC is refundable. In other words, those eligible may get a refund from the IRS even if they owe no tax. Workers must file a tax return, even if they are not required to file, and specifically claim the credit.

More information on EITC and detailed eligibility rules are available on the IRS web site.

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