Consumer Alert: One in five eligible taxpayers fails to claim this credit

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Our consumer alert today is all about you and your uncle.  You know him well; he’s the one named Sam.  And that ole’ curmudgeon may owe you more money than you think.  We know Uncle Sam always has his hand out. It seems he never has enough.  But come tax time, you can tell your uncle that money was loan, and you want your money back.

I’m talking about the EITC or earned income tax credit.  It’s designed for low to moderate income taxpayers.  For example, to qualify, a married couple with three children must have an adjusted gross income of $59,187 or less. Now consider the fact that the average household income in Rochester is $37,395.  But according to the IRS, one in five eligible taxpayers does not claim this valuable credit.

“You can be a single person and the credit goes up with the number of children you have,” said Al Burgos, owner of Burgos Income Tax, Inc. “The maximum credit you can earn is $6,935. It’s important that we get the word out. Get into a tax office or see a tax professional and take advantage of this credit.”     

And Burgos says it’s a common misconception that your EITC could jeopardize SNAP or other government benefits.  It does not.  Your earned income tax credit does *not* count as income.

If you claimed your EITC last year, expect it to be less this year.  The government enhanced that credit and others during the pandemic, and now the enhancements are over.  Also, tax-filers as young as 18 could qualify, now you have to be 25.

Click here for the IRS Earned Income Tax Credit assistant to determine eligibility and calculate your EITC.