Happy 18th anniversary of the  Earned Income Tax Credit. January 26 is EITC Awareness Day.

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Why is there an Awareness Day for EITC? It's a nationwide effort to increase awareness about the program and free tax preparation sites.

According to a news release from the United Way of Broome County, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is promoting the Earned Income Tax Credit and providing information on other refundable tax credits that people might be eligible for including the Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, Credit for Other Dependent and American Opportunity Tax Credit.

EITC varies by income, family size, and filing status. To file, a person must have earned income or a certain disability income. The United Way notes that persons who worked in 2023 and earned less than $63,698, should check for EITC eligibility. It could result in a refund of up to $7,430 when filing a return if you have qualifying children.

For those who do not have children, it could mean a credit of up to $600. For the 2022 tax year, about 1.4 million New Yorkers received $3.4 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit. The average amount credited came to about $2,416.

The United Way of Broome County states that while most workers claim the EITC, not all do. If you are eligible to file a tax return, even if you don't owe any tax, claim the EITC. It’s money in your pocket for whatever your needs may be.

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, our community volunteers help you get EITC and the maximum refund you’re due. Our goal is to help you get it and get it right. This is money you can save or use to pay off bills, buy that car to get to work or make a down payment on a home. Let us help make your life a little easier. - Paula Perna, Executive Director, United Way of Broome County.

For more information, call 2-1-1 or 1-800-901-2180 on qualifications and to schedule an appointment. The call center is scheduling tax appointments Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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