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Politics & Government

Community Advocates Kick Off IRS Tax Season with EITC Help

File: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

The official Internal Revenue Service tax season kicked off Friday. Legislators and low-income advocates from United Way, Voices for Utah Children, and “Earn it…Keep it…Save it” gathered at the state capitol to mark the day. They are urging Utahns to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or E-I-T-C, when they file their returns. IRS spokesman Bill Brunson says the average Utah EITC was $2,300 dollars last year and he says the amount could be as high as $6,200.

“You don’t want to guess because this is a very important credit and you don’t want to miss out on it," says Brunson. "So check to see if you do qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and if you do, file a tax return and claim that item.”

He says the credit is aimed at those families and individuals who made less than about $52,000 dollars last year. He says a change in filing status may also be a factor.

“It could be where an individual now has a family member that last year wasn’t a dependent for them for tax purposes, now is, such as a grandparent taking care of a grandchild,” says Brunson.

The state’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, called VITA, and United Way 2-1-1 are now available for free tax preparation services.

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