In the News - February 2013
Quick tips for tax time
- Earned Income Tax Credits can be a boon for working families at tax time.
- Arkansans received more than $740 million in tax credits in 2011 filing year
- Visit www.irs.gov/eitc to see if you qualify
LITTLE ROCK – For working families, Earned Income Tax Credits, or EITC, can turn out to be boon when it comes to tax filing time, said Laura Connerly, assistant professor for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Earned Income Tax Credits reduce the amount of tax owed, and may even result in a tax refund, according to the Internal Revenue Service. EITC is also called EIC or Earned Income Credit.
“Statewide, Arkansans received more than $740 million in Earned Income Tax Credits for the 2011 tax year,” she said. “At an average amount of nearly $2,500, the EITC can be a great financial boost for working families.”
Connerly offers tips to help individuals and families make the most of tax time:
- Find out if you qualify for credits. Workers earning less than $50,000 should check to see if they qualify for the EITC. Families who paid someone to care for their child or other dependent should see if they qualify for the Child and Dependent Care credit.
- EITC – visit www.irs.gov/eitc to see if you qualify.
- Child and Dependent Care – Read the instructions on Form 2441 and complete the worksheet to calculate the amount of your tax credit.
- File your taxes. You can’t receive the money for tax credits if you don’t file. Workers with incomes below the filing requirement sometimes fail to file - missing out on the refund. EITC can be as much as $5,891. So – file, claim your qualifying credits, and receive your refund.
- Use Free File, e-file, or VITA. Filing your taxes doesn’t have to be expensive. There are a variety of low-cost or no-cost options. It’s important to try to avoid the high cost of refund anticipation loans. If you file electronically, you can receive your refund in two or three weeks. Free file and e-file are available on www.irs.gov. Everyone is eligible to e-file tax returns. Through Free File, IRS provides fillable forms so you can do your own taxes and submit them online. Free File also offers brand name tax software preparation to tax filers with an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less (70 percent of filers qualify). You can also visit a VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, site to have your taxes done for free. VITA is available for people who make $51,000 or less. There are about 70 VITA sites in Arkansas this year. Call 1-800-906-9887 to find a VITA site.
For more about managing your money, visit www.uaex.edu or http://www.arfamilies.org/arkansassaves/, or contact your county extension office.
The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
February 8, 2013
By Mary Hightower
Cooperative Extension Service
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Extension Communications Specialist
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
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