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  • Spread the Word about the Earned Income Tax Credit!

    Updated for Tax Year 2013!

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can help eligible workers save up to $5,891 on their 2013 federal tax returns, and even more if you live in a state with a similar state credit. Yet only 1 in 5 people eligible for the credit actually claim it. In order to receive the credit, you must file a federal tax return, even if your income is below the federal tax return filing requirement. The good news is that this can be done for free by visiting the IRS website at to download free tax preparation software, or by visiting a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) location near you. For more information about free tax preparation help and to find a VITA location near you, click here.

    You may qualify for EITC if you worked any part of last year and earned $50,000 or less. How much you receive depends on your family size, income, and a few other factors. The savings can be significant. The average savings last year was over $2,200.

    Families that have received the credit have used it to buy goods necessary to keep their family afloat during these hard economic times. One mother used her credit to buy a sewing machine so that she could make her children’s clothes at home rather than spend money buying them. Other parents have used the credit to put their children in extracurricular activities that used to be provided by the schools.

    Single people can also benefit greatly from the credit, using the money to supplement their income. Remember, you only have to have worked part of the year to be eligible for the credit, meaning that if you were laid off at some point last year, you still qualify. This credit can help you during your time of unemployment. One woman was able to use her credit to start taking online college courses and is now close to finishing her college degree.

    The Earned Income Tax Credit is an underutilized tool that helps individuals and families better their financial situations. Studies have found that the EITC encourages work, reduces poverty, helps families meet basic needs, and improves children’s achievement in school and likely increases their earnings as adults. A 2011 study found that the majority of people who recieve the credit do so for only one or two years before their income increases enough to disqualify them from receiving the credit again.* This shows how useful the Earned Income Tax Credit can be to individuals and families that are working hard to increase their financial security.

    Help WISER spread the word about the Earned Income Tax Credit to your family, friends, and community. You earned it. Now claim it!

    To help spread the word, you can download resources at

    Tax Credits for Working Families has even more information on both federal and state tax credits.

    You can also share this IRS video about the Earned Income Tax Credit with your family and friends.

    *Tim Dowd and John B. Horowitz, “Income Mobility and the Earned Income Tax Credit: Short-Term Safety Net or Long-Term Income Support,” Public Finance Review (September 2011), 619-652

    One Response to “Spread the Word about the Earned Income Tax Credit!”

    1. I am so glad that you have written about the Earned Income Tax Credit. It is so very important for women to use this tax credit.

      And, perhaps the best part, is that any woman in the US can find help preparing her tax return so that she can get her Earned Income Tax Credit. Find a VITA representative in her town and book an appointment. This service is FREE!!

      All she has to do is bring the right papers (W-2 and others) to the appointment and a knowledgeable VITA rep will prepare her tax return and send it in, electronically.

      S each woman can actually can enjoy her bigger tax refund without sweating the tax return details.

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    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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