Salem, OR—Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day is January 26. It's a nationwide effort to increase awareness of the tax credit and free tax preparation options.
The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file. EITC could reduce the amount of tax you owe or you may get a refund.
Oregon has one the lowest EITC participation rates in the country, with only 72.5 percent of eligible taxpayers claiming the credit in 2014, according to the IRS.
More than 265,000 Oregonians claimed the EITC in 2017, with an average refund of $2,130.
To be eligible, taxpayers must have earned income last year and have a valid Social Security number (SSN). Other eligibility requirements for filers include:
• They can't use the “married filing separate” filing status.
• Children they're claiming on their return can't be the qualifying child of another person.
• They must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year (in most cases).
People are encouraged to visit the IRS' website today to learn more about the credit and eligibility requirements. Taxpayers can use the IRS' EITC Assistant to further check their eligibility. There also are other federal tax credits that taxpayers may be eligible for, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Additional Child Tax Credit.
Those who qualify for the EITC can also claim Oregon's Earned Income Credit (EIC), which is eight percent of the taxpayer's federal credit, or 11 percent if their qualifying dependent was two years old or younger on Dec. 31, 2017.
Those who need help determining if they're eligible for certain tax credits or need assistance with filing their federal or Oregon return have some free or low-cost options. Some companies offer free tax preparation software and e-filing for eligible taxpayers. To see these offers, visit the Department of Revenue.
AARP and CASH Oregon provide free or low-cost, in-person tax preparation services throughout Oregon. To see their locations, visit www.aarp.org
People can also call 211 to find free tax return preparation sites.
For more information on the EITC, visit IRS' website.
The Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon Department of Revenue are working with other state agencies and community partners to encourage taxpayers to learn more about this credit and find out if they're eligible.
For questions about Oregon taxes, call the Department of Revenue at 503-378-4988. For questions about the Department of Human Services, call 503-945-5600.
Department of Human Services:
Christine Stone 5
Department of Revenue: