Families may be eligible for tax credits

LOS ANGELES - As the April 18 tax filing deadline approaches, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard is urging eligible taxpayers to take advantage of three important federal tax credits - the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Making Work Pay Credit - as well as free tax preparation services.Families that earned less than $48,362 in 2010 may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Eligibility for the credit depends on factors such as a taxpayer's total income and family size. For some families, the EITC is worth up to $5,666. The EITC is first used to cover any federal taxes owed by an eligible worker. After any tax liability is paid off, tax filers receive all of their remaining Earned Income Tax Credit in the form of a check from the IRS. The Child Tax Credit allows families to claim a credit worth up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under 17. Similar to the EITC, the Child Tax Credit is first used to reduce or pay off any taxes owed by the family. After that, depending on the family's income, some filers may also qualify to receive a refund of all or part of any leftover Child Tax Credit funds. In addition, certain workers who are self-employed, or whose spouse did not work, or who did not earn enough to have income tax withheld in 2010, can claim the Making Word Pay Credit on their tax return, which is worth up to $800 for a married couple. Finally, free tax preparation services from trained community volunteers are also available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Taxpayers can find out more by visiting www.eitc-la.com or dialing 211 and asking the operator for VITA site locations. Seniors can also locate free AARP tax-aide counseling sites in their area by calling (888) 227-7669. "During these challenging economic times when so many families are struggling, I want to make sure all eligible taxpayers take advantage of these federal tax credits and free tax preparation services that will ultimately put more money in their pockets," said Roybal-Allard. "I hate to see eligible families lose out simply because they are not aware of these potential savings, they don't realize they qualify or because they don't know where to go to find free tax-filing assistance."

********** Published: February 03, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 42