As people begin filing their state and federal taxes, Governor Pat Quinn is urging people around the state to take advantage of Illinois’ Earned Income Tax Credit.
In 2012 Governor Quinn pushed for and eventually signed legislation that doubled the value of the Illinois’ Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
According to the Governor’s office in 2013 more than 900,000 Illinois families received $160 million in tax relief from the EITC.
“While many families received this important tax relief last year, we know there are many more out there who did not apply.” Governor Quinn said. “The EITC is one of the best ways to fight poverty, and that’s why I fought to double it and provide more tax relief to working families. Now that it’s available, it’s important for all those who are eligible to apply at their nearest tax assistance location.”
The EITC is meant to provide incentives for people to work, as well as provide tax relief to families that earn lower incomes. It also helps support local economic growth by increasing consumer spending. A Brookings Institution study found that every dollar a family saves through the Earned Income Tax Credit translates into $1.58 of activity in local economies.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit has brought back literally tens of millions of dollars in refunds for parents raising children, working families, and people who need help the most.” Governor Quinn said. “That’s why it is so important.”
Governor Quinn urged people to take advantage of the free tax preparation services that are available to eligible residents throughout the state.
“All of the tax payer assistance that our state funds across Illinois is designed to make sure when folks come in the door it’s easy and free.” Governor Quinn said. “You don’t have to pay a tax preparer, and the returns are filed electronically, so you can get your refund as quickly as possible.”
To provide free tax preparation assistance throughout the state, the Illinois Department of Human Services has partnered with two non-profit agencies, the Center for Economic Tax Counseling Project and Ladder Up. Families that make less than $50,000 annually and individuals with yearly incomes of under $25,000 are eligible for the free services.
In 2013 more than 25,000 Illinois taxpayers filed their returns through the program, receiving more than $45 million in state and federal tax refunds.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that 1 in 5 taxpayers that are eligible for the EITC fail to claim it.
“If you forgot or didn’t know about filling out the (EITC) forms last year, or even the year before last you can fill out a form now and get tax relief from previous years.” Governor Quinn said.
Those who want more information on the free Tax Counseling Project and the Earned Income Tax Credit can call 888-827-8511 or visit the Illinois Department of Human Services website at www.dhs.state.il.us.
A list of free Tax Assistance locations throughout the state, including locations in Peoria and Bloomington- Normal, can be found at www2.illinois.gov/gov/eitc/Documents/Tax%20Assistance%20Locations%202014.pdf.