WASHINGTON (1/9/13)--Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, which falls on Jan. 25, provides credit unions with a valuable community outreach opportunity, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) notes.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has encouraged charitable and social organizations, elected officials, state and local government agencies, employers, and others to join together and help generate extensive mainstream and social media coverage for the EITC on this day.
The EITC, which is a federal income tax credit that is intended to aid low-income working families, allows those that qualify and claim the credit to pay less federal tax, pay no tax, or get substantial tax refunds.
The agency said concerned parties need to work hard to reach community members that are eligible for the tax credit. Many that would be eligible for the EITC miss out on the benefits provided because they do not file federal tax returns, the IRS noted.
EITC eligible workers can receive up to $5,981 by claiming the credit on their 2013 federal tax returns, and can receive even more if they live in a state with a similar credit. "Four out of five people claim and get the EITC they earned but that leaves millions of people who miss boosting their income by claiming EITC," the IRS added.
Many credit unions also help low-to-moderate income and elderly taxpayers through the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).
The National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA) Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives awarded more than $100,000 in technical assistance grants to low-income designated credit unions that operate or participate in VITA programs in 2011 tax year, the most recent year for which data was released. Credit unions that received the technical assistance grants helped more than 16,055 members prepare their tax returns, saving those members and their families $5.6 million in taxes, the NCUA said.
For more on the EITC, use the resource link.