As part of National Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, Governor Steve Beshear today launched his annual campaign to urge eligible Kentuckians to apply for the tax credit. The EITC is a refundable federal tax credit for low- and middle-income working individuals and families.
"Nearly half a million low-wage earning Kentucky taxpayers are eligible to receive the EITC and I encourage everyone who is eligible to apply for this credit," Gov. Beshear said. "Despite being employed, many hardworking Kentuckians and their families face financial struggles and this credit is a valuable resource they can use to help buy food and clothes, pay bills and more."
In tax year 2011, Kentuckians filed nearly 401,000 EITC claims for a total of more than $905 million in benefits statewide. The average awarded credit was $2,255. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an estimated 15 to 20 percent of eligible workers still do not claim their EITC benefits, mostly due to lack of awareness.
Gov. Beshear joined tax preparer volunteers and participants at the United Way of the Bluegrass in Lexington today for the announcement. In Louisville, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson joined Louisville officials and the Louisville Asset Building Coalition to urge Kentuckians in the Jefferson County area to claim EITC. There were more than 70,000 EITC claims in the greater Louisville area in 2010. The EITC returned nearly $15.2 million to working persons in the greater Louisville area.
Gov. Beshear announced a list of nearly 200 free tax preparation sites across the state where trained and IRS-certified volunteers will assist Kentuckians with filing their taxes and applying for EITC. To find information about these sites, including addresses, phone numbers and if appointments are required, visit http://assistance.ky.gov/ or www.kaca.org.
Additionally, Kentuckians living in central and northern Kentucky areas can dial 2-1-1 to find information on free tax preparation sites near them. Counties who can access 2-1-1 include Anderson, Boone, Bourbon, Bullitt, Campbell, Carroll, Clark, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Oldham, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble and Woodford.
For information about tax preparation sites outside the 2-1-1 calling area, taxpayers may call Community Action Kentucky at (800) 456-3452.
Eligibility for the EITC is based on income and household composition, as is the amount of the credit. Families who earned up to $50,270 in 2012 could be eligible for EITC. More extensive qualification information is available at http://assistance.ky.gov/.
The Governor and Lt. Governor applauded the many organizations across the state working to bring awareness and provide easily accessible and free tax assistance to Kentuckians.
These partners and coalitions include the IRS, the United Way of Kentucky, Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, Community Action Kentucky, Department of Revenue, AARP Tax Aide, Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Project, Louisville Asset Building Coalition, Green River Asset Building Coalition, Barren River Asset Building Coalition, Eastern Kentucky Asset Building Coalition, Northern Kentucky Asset Building Coalition, Northeast Kentucky Asset Building Coalition and the Purchase Area Asset Building Coalition.
"United Way's goal is to help families meet their basic needs while gaining the financial capability to plan for, and accomplish, their long-term financial goals," said Bill Farmer, president of United Way of the Bluegrass. "Ensuring access to EITC through free tax preparation is critical not only to hardworking individuals receiving these important services and credits, but to the economic vitality of our community as a whole."
"Community Action Agencies and other organizations provide free tax preparation so working Kentuckians can get the tax return they deserve," said Rob Jones, executive director of Community Action Kentucky. "The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the best ways to stimulate community growth and help with the self-sufficiency of a family."
For more information on National ETIC Awareness Day, please visit http://www.eitc.irs.gov/ptoolkit/awarenessday/.