Unemployment Compensation Customers, Parents Encouraged to File for Available Tax Credits (03/01/2010)

For Immediate Release 
March 1, 2010  

Contact:
Robby Cunningham
(850) 245-7130

Unemployment Compensation Customers, Parents Encouraged to File for Available Tax Credits


TALLAHASSEE – With the April 15 deadline approaching to file 2009 federal income tax returns, Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo is encouraging qualified taxpayers to take advantage of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.  The EITC makes lower-income individuals and families eligible to pay less or even no federal tax, or receive cash payments. 

The Agency for Workforce Innovation has posted information about the EITC on its Web site at www.floridajobs.org, by clicking on the EITC button under Quick Links.  The agency is also providing information about the EITC to unemployment compensation beneficiaries and families through AWI’s Child Care Resource and Referral Network. 

Tax preparation services, helpful tax-filing tips or community tax assistance site referrals are offered by many of the state’s 94 One-Stop Career Centers.  Services provided by local One-Stops vary; please visit One-Stop Career Center Directory for a map.

The Internal Revenue Service’s Free File program provides federal income tax preparation and electronic filing at no cost for eligible taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less.  For additional information, please visit www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html

EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC)

The IRS estimates in 2008, 1.74 million Floridians claimed $3.86 billion in EITC credits, with an average refund of $2,118. Florida ranked third in the nation in the number of EITC dollars claimed by taxpayers in 2008. Despite the credit’s availability, however, the IRS estimates as many as 20 to 25 percent of Americans who qualify for the credit fail to claim it on their tax returns.

Under certain limitations for 2009, you may qualify if your adjusted gross income is less than:

  • $43,279 ($48,279 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children;
  • $40,295 ($45,295 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children;
  • $35,463 ($40,463 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child;
  • $13,440 ($18,440 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children.

The maximum credit for 2009 is as follows:

  • $5,657 with three or more qualifying children;
  • $5,028 with two qualifying children;
  • $3,043 with one qualifying child;
  • $457 with no qualifying children.

Investment income must be less than $3,100 for the year.

The EITC does not change your eligibility for certain public assistance benefits.  In most cases, the credit payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments.  More information on EITC can be found at www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96406,00.html.

Other tax credits include:

CHILD AND DEPENDENT CARE CREDIT

If you paid someone to care for a qualifying child or dependent so you (and your spouse if you are married) could work or look for work, you may be able to claim the nonrefundable credit for child and dependent care expenses.  For more information, refer to IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, available online at www.irs.gov/publications/p503/index.html.

CHILD TAX CREDIT

You may be able to claim a nonrefundable child tax credit of up to $1,000 per child.  For more information, refer to IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, available online at www.irs.gov/publications/p501/index.html.

FORECLOSURES

Under the tax law, if a debt wiped out through foreclosure exceeds the value of the property, the difference is normally taxable income.  But for tax years 2007, 2008 or 2009, a special rule may allow you to offset that income to the extent your debts exceed your assets.  For more information, please visit www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=174022,00.html

Additional information on available tax credits can be found at www.irs.gov.

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