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Earned Income Tax Credit: What Working Michiganders Need To Know

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Connecting with free help to file taxes could help some people in Michigan access credits. (Pixabay)
Connecting with free help to file taxes could help some people in Michigan access credits. (Pixabay)
January 26, 2018

LANSING, Mich – Tens of thousands of Michiganders who qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit leave millions of dollars on the table by not claiming it, which is why advocates are urging people to get their documents in order and take advantage of available resources.

The EITC helps low to moderate income households, and averages about $2,400, but can be as much as $6,000. Ross Yednock, program director with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, says that could mean the difference between poverty and stability for many working families.

"More and more families are a paycheck away from being in the negative financially,” says Yednock. “You have very little savings. You can lose your house, your apartment. These are credits that really can help people at the beginning of the year get off on a positive financial footing."

Yednock says people can find out more about eligibility and assistance filing taxes by dialing 2-1-1, or going to michiganfreetaxhelp.org

The Accounting Aid Society in Detroit is one of many sites statewide offering free tax preparation help. Tax policy and advocacy director Marshall Hunt says even if you fall below the income requirement for filing taxes, you still could qualify for the credit.

"If people miss the credit, it's because they don't realize that even though there might not be a lot of withholding on their W-2, there's still the potential of a refund that's waiting for them," he says.

Hunt says there are other credits many people might not be aware that they are eligible for, including home heating and the additional child credit. He adds that the IRS is required to hold refunds for returns claiming those credits until mid-February, which means they won't appear in taxpayers' bank accounts until the end of the month.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI