Minnesota leaders celebrate 40 years of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

CONTACTS:                                                                

Taylor Putz
Prepare + Prosper
651-262-2160/Desk
920-904-4395/Cell       
 
 

Marsha Pitts-Phillips
Greater Twin Cities United Way        
612-340-7401/Desk
612-408-7828/Cell                                             

Minnesota leaders celebrate 40 years of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Statewide Claim it! campaign encourages eligible taxpayers to claim the credits they earned 

TWIN CITIES – January 30 – This Saturday, Minnesota leaders including Congressman Keith Ellison, Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, and Minnesota Department of Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly will speak with a recipient of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and non-profit leaders to raise awareness and highlight how vital the EITC is in lifting 300,000 Minnesotans out of poverty each year. The press conference will be held at a free tax preparation site where taxpayers making under $53,000 can get volunteer tax assistance.

According to the Brookings Institution, the EITC is considered the nation’s largest and most effective anti-poverty program but according to the IRS, one in five taxpayers is not claiming their EITC according to the IRS. Taxpayers who typically miss out are include those who are recently unemployed, living in rural areas, or are self-employed.

“More families are experiencing increasing financial pressures like lower wages and reduced hours,” said Congressman Keith Ellison. “Struggling households turn to the EITC to prevent them from falling into poverty.”

A family of three can receive up to $6,143 from the EITC if they worked in 2014. Eligibility for the EITC primarily depends upon the amount of earned income and the number of dependents. Families generally turn to the EITC only for as long as they need it and recipients use the EITC to pay for basic needs and start saving for the future. In 2014, over 344,000 Minnesotans claimed $723 million dollars from the EITC.

“The EITC and the state’s EITC called the Working Family Credit (WFC) are good for our families, communities, and economy,” says Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith. “Hardworking taxpayers who receive the EITC and WFC usually spend their money at the local level putting more money back into the Minnesota economy.”

Minnesota is one of 26 states that also have a state EITC. The average a Minnesota taxpayer received from the Working Family Credit in 2013 was $624.25. Combined with the federal EITC, they help families who work move out of poverty and build financial security.

“Tax season is incredibly important for so many low- and moderate-income families,” said Tracy Fischman, executive director of Prepare + Propser. “We call it a ‘money-moment’ because it’s likely the one time of year when people receive a large sum of money and can think about using it to save and get ahead.”

There are more than 250 free tax preparation sites in Minnesota. To locate a free tax preparation site, call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or 651-291-0211 or toll-free 1-800-543-7709; or visit www.youclaimit.org.
About Claim it!: Claim it!, managed by Prepare + Prosper and funded by the Greater Twin Cities United Way, is a statewide public awareness campaign created in 2006 that works with over 250 organizations to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax preparation for low- to-moderate income Minnesotans.

About Prepare + Prosper: Prepare + Prosper (formerly AccountAbility Minnesota) is a robust organization focused on poverty alleviation, financial capability, and economic mobility for low-income households. It does so by providing free tax and financial services, building the capacity of other organizations providing these services, and by utilizing its experiences to advance policies and practices that directly benefit the people it serves. In 2014, Prepare + Prosper enlisted the help of 569 volunteers who prepared taxes for 13,433 individuals who received a collective $24.3 million in refunds.

About Greater Twin Cities United Way: Greater Twin Cities United Way collaborates with business, government and nonprofit organizations to build pathways out of poverty. We LIVE UNITED to help children succeed, to stabilize families and empower healthy lives. Join our online discussions at www.unitedfrontmn.org, volunteer at United Way Caring Connection or give online at www.gtcuw.org. Greater Twin Cities United Way serves clients in Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott and western Washington counties. For more information, go to www.gtcuw.org or call (612) 340-7400.

###