NCUA Touts Earned Income Tax Credit (Misc News: January 30, 2012)
The NCUA is urging credit unions that provide tax assistance services to remind their members of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Taxpayers who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax, or get a substantial tax refund.
“The EITC is a federal income tax credit specifically for low-income working families,” said NCUA board Chair Debbie Matz. “The tax credit goes directly to families who may use it for living expenses or to offset depleted savings.”
Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 to offset, in part, the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. Income and family size usually determine the amount of the EITC, but individuals without children may also quality.
“We hope the thousands of credit unions who have members that qualify for the credit will also carry this message, especially those credit unions that participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Initiative,” Matz added.
NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives awards technical assistance grants to low-income designated credit unions that operate or participate in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. The credit unions receiving funds under this initiative for the 2010 tax year reported more than 16,055 tax returns prepared and $5.6 million Earned Income Tax Credits returned to the members in the low-income communities. OSCUI awarded more than $100,000 to credit unions for operating or participating in VITA sites for the 2010 tax year, with individual credit union awards up to $6,500.
EITC can put up to $5,751 into the pockets of eligible taxpayers. There are many resources for finding out about EITC including NCUA’s consumer website www.mycreditunion.gov where you will find many helpful links including:
• 2011 EITC Income Limits and Credit Amounts
• EITC Basic Qualifications
• IRS Publication 596 (English version)
• IRS Publication 596 (Spanish version)
• EITC Assistant
• EITC Home page
Michigan credit unions supported EITC through the Just file it! tax assistance program. In 2010, Michigan credit unions helped their members obtain more than $1.6 million. That was up from $1.5 million in 2009 and $1.1 million in 2008.