On EITC Awareness Day, Brown Reveals that Critical Tax Credit Returned Nearly $2 Billion to Ohioans' Pockets

Brown Releases County-by-County Data on EITC Utilization Nearly 929,000 Returns Filed Last Year – with Average Size of $2,078 – for Critical Tax Credit for Working Ohioans According to the IRS, 25 Percent of Ohioans Who Were Eligible Did Not Receive Earned Income Tax Credit; Ohio Taxpayers Could Have Claimed $500M

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As tax season approaches, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today reminded all eligible Ohio workers to maximize their tax returns by filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). On EITC Awareness Day, Brown visited Central Community House, a free tax preparation site, in Columbus. Last year, nearly 929,000 Ohioans saved almost $2 billion through this federal credit, but thousands of Ohioans miss out on this credit each year by failing to apply.

 “Hard-working Ohioans should not be loaning Uncle Sam money,” Brown said. “But when thousands of eligible households don’t file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, they’re missing out on the nearly $2 billion in tax returns that Ohio families received last year. With tax day approaching, I want to ensure that each Ohioan receives the biggest refund possible. It is my hope that this year, all Ohio families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit will receive the credit. I want all Ohioans to know that the Earned Income Tax Credit is a way for families who are struggling right now to get some relief.” 

 Brown was joined by Janet Jackson, President and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio and an Ohioan who filed her taxes last year using services provided by Central Community House— a United Way member agency. United Way of Central Ohio is a founding member of the Franklin County EITC Coalition, which includes more than 30 other partner organizations. Since the Coalition began offering free tax preparation services in 2006, it has helped more than 12,300 hardworking low- and middle-income people in central Ohio receive more than $15 million in tax refunds and save $3 million in tax preparation and refund anticipation loan fees.

"United Way of Central Ohio and the other partners in the Franklin County EITC Coalition are dedicated to helping people become financially stable.  Through our free tax preparation services and financial planning resources we are helping people get the money they deserve and the information they need to plan a strong, self-reliant future," said Janet E. Jackson, President and CEO, United Way of Central Ohio.

 Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal tax credit that may be available to working individuals or families. For the 2009 tax year, the average credit for Ohioans was $2,078. Last year, 928,674 Ohio taxpayers claimed the EITC, returning nearly $2 billion dollars to our state's economy.

 Unclaimed Funds

Millions of dollars remain unclaimed by Ohio taxpayers who are unaware of this important tax credit. The IRS estimates that many Americans who qualified for the credit failed to apply by April 15, 2010. Below is a county-by-county breakdown for the maximum projected number of eligible filers in central Ohio who claimed the EITC, using the most recent county tax information available.

County Name

Amount of EITC

Mean Amount of EITC

DELAWARE

$12,257,857

$1,952

FAIRFIELD

$17,861,560

$2,082

FRANKLIN

$232,025,656

$2,238

LICKING

$23,425,522

$2,064

MADISON

$6,720,090

$2,095

PICKAWAY

$7,441,860

$2,061

UNION

$4,889,456

$2,098

Central Ohio Total

$304,622,001

 

For statewide information, click HERE.

With the April 18th federal filing deadline approaching, Brown encourages all eligible Ohioans to take advantage of the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), free online filing services, and the free tax preparation services offered throughout the state.

 Free Online Filing Services

Ohioans who have access to the internet and gross incomes of $58,000 or less can take advantage of free online filing through the IRS' web site: http://www.freefile.irs.gov/. The IRS Free File Program helps some many Americans each year file their taxes online in a fast, free, and secure fashion. The program gives filers access to tax preparation software that gives them step-by-step assistance toward preparing, completing, and filing their federal tax returns online.

 Tax Preparation Assistance

Free tax preparation assistance is available at sites across Ohio. For additional information, interested persons should contact the IRS for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site locators. Call the hotline at: 1-800-906-9887 and enter your zip code for the neatest VITA/TCE site location.

 For more information on the Franklin County EITC Coalition, visit their Web site at http://www.keepitsaveit.org/. For more information on eligibility and the filing process for the EITC visit their Web site at http://www.irs.gov/.

 

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