Tracey Fischer: A tax opportunity for Indian Country
"The Internal Revenue Service has designated Jan. 29 as Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day. At Oweesta we work with Native communities to help them build financial assets, and we are partnering with the IRS to promote awareness of the EITC throughout Indian country.

The EITC program is the largest federal anti-poverty program in the United States – larger than food stamps and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families combined. It has the potential to bring hundreds of millions of dollars to Native communities annually. Unfortunately, a large portion goes unclaimed or is skimmed off by high-cost fees from paid tax preparers.

What is an “EITC?” An EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and families. A “refundable tax credit” means that an individual will receive the entire credit that he or she is eligible to receive, even if it means the credit is more than federal income tax owed. So for example, if your federal income tax liability is $500 and you are eligible for a tax credit of $1,500, you will be able to receive the excess $1,000 tax credit in the form of a refund from the IRS. Now that’s a good deal.

The amount you may receive in your EITC refund will vary depending on your income and number of children. The maximum credit this year is $5,657 for a family with three or more qualifying children. If you have two qualifying children, your maximum credit is $5,028. If you have one qualifying child, your maximum credit is $3,043. If you don’t have any qualifying children, you can still receive up to $457."

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Tracey Fischer: Tax opportunities during taxing times (Indian Country Today 1/21)