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Unclaimed Millions for New Yorkers

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 By Charles Lane/Eric Mack, Contact
March 12, 2007

For New York workers, there are millions of dollars going unclaimed. According to the IRS, 20 percent of the workers who qualify never apply for credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit. Dianna Breen is senior project manager for the Children's Defense Fund of New York.

"The biggest reason is simply because they don't know about it. Workers who make low to moderate incomes can get thousands of dollars back, and all they have to do is claim the Earned Income Tax Credit."

Breen points to a number of organizations who can help New Yorkers file their taxes free of charge. You can call the IRS for more information. (New York City residents can also dial 311) But she warns that there are many companies charging high interest rates for refund anticipation loans despite the free services available.

"All they have to do is dial the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, and this helps people not only file their taxes for free, but avoid a high interest refund anticipation loan."

Breen notes the credits could add up to $6,000 for some taxpayers. She says the average in New York is more than $2,000.

She adds that if you didn't know about the credit until now, the IRS says you can amend your return up to three years ago.

"So, that means, if you may have been eligible in 2003, or 2004, or 2005, and you didn't claim it, you can still claim it."

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