Single low-wage earners are among those in West Virginia who have not taken advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit. More than $100 million remains unclaimed by West Virginians each year, according to the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families.
You do not have to be married or have children to file a claim for EITC. However, you do have to be a low-wage earner who files an income tax return and files for EITC.
That means that you - and some of your friends and family - may be eligible to receive up to $5,666 in Earned Income Tax Credit from the Internal Revenue Service this year.
EITC is a tax credit for people who work but don't earn high incomes. If you are between the ages of 25 and 65, you may qualify for EITC.
You don't have to pay someone to prepare the forms for you.
Free help is available.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites provide free tax preparation. The sites are located throughout West Virginia during tax season. If you wish, your return can be filed electronically and your check can be deposited into your bank account within seven to 10 days.
For eligible individuals and families, EITC provides dollars for paying bills, repairing homes and cars, opening savings accounts, increasing savings and improving lives in many ways, according to Amanda Haller, an educator with the Randolph County office of the West Virginia University Extension Service.
Haller said that Extension Service is working with organizations throughout the state to encourage low-wage individuals and families to apply for EITC.
To learn more about EITC and to locate a tax preparation center near you, visit www.wveitc.com or call 2-1-1, which is your toll-free connection to community services in West Virginia. Information is also available from the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Communities at 304-342-6972.
The WVU Extension Service serves as the outreach arm of West Virginia University. The Extension Service has offices in all 55 counties, which provide residents with knowledge in areas such as family and consumer sciences, leadership development, community and economic development, 4-H and youth development, agriculture and health. For more information, visit the website randolph.ext.wvu.edu, the state site at ext.wvu.edu, or contact the Randolph County WVU Extension Service office, 32 Randolph Ave., Suite 102 in Elkins or call 304-636-2455.