WASHINGTON, DC – Today marks the 13th anniversary of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites in Rhode Island and nationwide. The federal EITC is a refundable tax credit designed to boost the income of American workers with low and moderate incomes.
Last year, 84,000 workers in Rhode Island received $190 million in EITC refunds. These tax filers saw an average return of $2,264.
But according to the IRS, one in five workers who are eligible to claim the EITC fail to do so because they don’t realize that they qualify. As a result, hard-earned money is left on the table by eligible working Rhode Islanders.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a strong proponent of EITC, introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate along with several colleagues to recognize Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, highlight the financial benefits this critical tax credit provides, and encourage qualified Rhode Islanders to file and claim the credit.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the best tools we have to help uplift workers and reduce poverty. It is a boost to workers and Rhode Island’s economy, and it especially helps families with children. EITC can only be earned by people who file income tax returns. I want to ensure all Rhode Island workers who are eligible for EITC can claim the credit and receive their refunds,” said Senator Reed.
The EITC provides an annual wage supplement to workers based on their earnings, marital status, and number of children or dependents. Rhode Islanders wishing to determine whether they qualify for the EITC can use an estimator on the IRS EITC webpage.
Additionally, Rhode Islanders in need of assistance may call United Way’s toll-free helpline: 2-1-1. Since 2005, United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) has been a proud partner in the statewide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) campaign. UWRI’s funding for VITA sites is part of a comprehensive strategy to meet the immediate needs of Rhode Islanders. VITA provides free income tax preparation services to eligible Rhode Islanders who earned $55,000 or less last year. VITA sites and their volunteers are trained to ensure that eligible Rhode Islanders access available, important tax credits such as the EITC.