If a family earned $52,427 or less in 2014, they may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The federal tax credit has been reducing economic stress for working people since 1975, but a significant number of people who qualify for the credit don’t apply.
“About a quarter of eligible working families fail to apply for this credit that is rightfully theirs,” said PSC Executive Council Member Susan DiRaimo. The PSC is part of a citywide outreach effort to inform people of their possible eligibility.
For CUNY adjuncts, who make on average $3,000 for each course they teach, the credit could mean help with paying rent or other necessities. City officials say the credit could be the largest “lump sum of money” that low income New Yorkers can receive this year.
That is why the city has launched a major outreach initiative, putting up subway ads and calling individual taxpayers to talk about the EITC and let them know where they can get their taxes prepared for free.
“Too many New Yorkers who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit do not receive it due to either not being informed or because they are not able to provide proof of income,” said New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who praised city efforts to increase awareness about the credit.
A family of four that makes a little less than $50,000 – which is higher than Brooklyn’s median household income – could qualify for a refund of up to $5,460. The average credit is around $2,500, according to city officials, and the maximum federal credit is around $6,000. There are different qualifying income thresholds for people filing jointly and independently, and the amount of the credit depends on the number of dependents.
To find out if you qualify go to irs.gov/eitc, file your return with a reputable tax software that will check your eligibility or visit one of the 200 tax centers in the city that give free tax assistance for qualified individuals (find a location here: nyc.gov/taxprep).