Monday March 15, 2004
People have exactly one month left to find out if they’re eligible for thousands of dollars in benefits as part of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
With tax-filing deadline one month from today, Mayor Jerry Abramson is urging residents to utilize 10 free tax preparation sites across the community to determine if they’re eligible for EITC. Thus far this year, more than 1,900 returns have been prepared, which will result in an estimated $2.5 million in federal and state refunds and $1.25 million in EITC benefits.
Under EITC, tax credits are available of up to $4,204 in the case of a family with two or more children and income of less than $34,692. The average credit is about $1,647.
Abramson and the Louisville Asset Building Coalition (LABC), a consortium of 60 non-profit groups and businesses, have a goal of preparing 2,500 returns for families and generating $2 million in EITC benefits. The effort is part of a public information campaign called “Earn It. Keep It. Save It.”
“We’re on the way to meeting our goal and we’re ahead of the pace we set last year,” Abramson said. “But too many families in our hometown still haven’t taken advantage of this important benefit. The Earned Income Tax Credit is money that families can use for a home, a car or a child’s education. I’m urging people to tell their friends and other family members about this important benefit. We don’t want anyone who is eligible to miss out.”
Last year, 10 free tax preparation sites offered free assistance, generating 1,370 tax returns, nearly $2 million in refunds and nearly $1 million in EITC benefits. An estimated 16,000 people in Louisville have been missing out on money – roughly $26 million – that they are due from the federal government because they are not claiming the EITC when they file their federal tax forms. “In one year, we more than doubled the amount of money in the pockets of working families in our hometown,” said Lynnie Meyer, president of the Center for Women and Families, which helps lead the coalition. “Clearly, getting the word out paid off for families in our hometown. But the numbers also show that too many people still aren’t taking advantage of this benefit.”
For information about the free tax preparation sites – and the documents required for preparation -- call the Louisville Asset Building Coalition at 581-7262. Information is also available on the Louisville Metro Government’s web site at www.loukymetro.org.