Low-income workers helped by tax credit

VERMONT — The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can make life a little easier for working Vermonters struggling to make ends meet with a credit up to $5,900. In addition, any family with dependent children who receives the Vermont EITC is automatically income eligible for food benefits through 3SquaresVT — meaning their income and resources don’t count. The IRS estimates one in five eligible taxpayers could miss out on this valuable tax credit because they don’t check it out. 

“Many people qualify for EITC for the first time this year because their income declined, their marital status changed, or their families grew,” says Angela Smith-Dieng, 3SquaresVT advocacy manager at Hunger Free Vermont. “With the connection to 3SquaresVT, these same families not only save money with the tax credit, but also put more nutritious food on the table. The average monthly 3SquaresVT benefit is over $300 for a family with children. An added bonus is that children who get 3SquaresVT benefits also qualify for free school meals, saving a family even more. I encourage anyone who earned less than $50,000 in 2012 to see if they qualify.”

EITC is a financial boost for working people hit hard by economic times while also providing economic stimulus for the state. In 2012, 45,000 Vermonters received EITC bringing $80 million federal dollars into the state at an average credit of $1,800 per household. “For those who qualify,” Smith-Dieng emphasizes, “be sure to file, claim, and get it. You’ve earned not only the credit, but all the added benefits that come along with it.”

For more information about EITC, go to www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. For help preparing your taxes for free, call 2-1-1 to make an appointment in your community. For information about 3SquaresVT, go to www.vermontfoodhelp.com or call 2-1-1.

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Addison County Independent