Thousands entitled to Earned Income Tax Credit payment could miss out

Free tax help for low- to moderate-income taxpayers available by dialing 2-1-1 or go to Get Free Tax help for the nearest location

OLYMPIA, WA – The state is urging you to apply for your share of millions in Earned Income Tax Credit(EITC) money available to eligible families and individuals from the Internal Revenue Service. Today is “Earned Income Tax Credit Day,” helping raise awareness of this federal program. The program goes unused by about 20 percent of qualified workers entitled to receive a check for up to $5,891. Millions could go unclaimed by Washington residents eligible for the credit. Last year, the average EITC refund was more than $2,000.

“This credit puts hundreds, even thousands, of dollars back into the pockets of working families,” said Governor Inslee. “It’s a boost for those families and individuals, and it’s a boost for our state’s economy too.”

Thousands of working families and individuals in Washington fail to apply for the credit each year, missing out on their share of the money. Seniors, individuals with low incomes, and non-English speaking taxpayers account for much of the unclaimed credits because they don’t realize they are eligible. Last year, 432,000 people applied for the credit, bringing about $885 million into the state’s economy.

The Washington State Department of Commerce and DSHS Economic Services are teaming up with the IRS, AARP Tax Aide, Washington State Asset Building Coalitions, Community Action agencies, United Way agencies, financial institutions, and credit unions across the state to remind people that they must file a 2012 federal income tax return to receive the EITC – even if they owe no tax. Communities throughout Washington are taking part in national EITC Day to promote the tax credit.

Groups promoting the EITC have a simple message; It’s money you’ve earned-file it, claim it and get it.  Any individual or couple who worked in 2012 should file for the EITC. The amount of the credit depends on family size and gross income. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided a temporary increase in EITC for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children. This increase was extended for 2011 and 2012 by the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010.

The eligibility requirements are:

  • With three or more qualifying children, income less than $45,060 or $50,270 if married filing jointly. Maximum refund: $5,891.
  • With two qualifying children, income less than $41,952 or $47,162 if married filing jointly. Maximum refund: $5,236.
  • With one qualifying child, income less than $36,920 or $42,130 married filing jointly. Maximum refund: $3,169.
  • With no children, income less than $13,980 or $19,190 married filing jointly. Maximum refund: $475.

Free tax preparation services are available to low- and moderate-income families from January 30 through April 15. Washington Information Network 211 will provide a directory of site locations throughout the state – just dial 2-1-1 and ask for “free tax preparation,” and an operator will provide you with free tax site locations and hours in your area. Or, go

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