April 20, 2014

IRS: More than half a million Missourians qualify for earned income tax credit

People who have dependents and work but don’t meet a certain income threshold can qualify to get a tax credit from the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS says taxpayers can check online to see if they can expect to receive an earned income tax credit this year at www.IRS.gov.

Kate Lett-Deathe is with the IRS in Kansas City. She says last year, the earned income tax credit was worth more than $1.16 billion to more than  500,000 Missouri workers, an average credit of $2,260.

The cut-off this year for married couples with three children is just over $50,000 a year for those filing jointly with three or more dependents.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable credit for low- and moderate-income individuals and families. But one out of five eligible taxpayers overlooks the EITC each year, missing out what could be a significant boost to their finances.

Eligibility depends on several factors, and many people who experience life changes may not know that they could qualify. More than 30 percent of the EITC eligible population moves in and out of eligibility each year. This is generally due to changes in marital, parental and financial status. This continuous change makes EITC awareness critical.

The standard EITC breakdown is as follows:

  • $45,060 ($50,270) married filing jointly) with 3 or more qualifying children
  • $41,952 ($47,162) married filing jointly) with 2 qualifying children
  • $36,920 ($41,130) married filing jointly) with 1 qualifying child
  • $13,980 ($19,190) married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
  • $5,891 with 3 or more qualifying children
  • $5,236 with 2 qualifying children
  • $3,169 with 1 qualifying child
  • $475 with no qualifying children

The EITC Assistant is available in English and Spanish at www.IRS.gov.

Lett-Deathe points out that volunteer income tax assistance sites at community locations provide free tax return preparation to people with incomes of $51,000 a year or less. People can also use Free File on the IRS website to let individuals electronically file their returns.