LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County officials urged low-income residents Tuesday to take advantage of federal and state earned income tax credits (EITC).
An estimated $2 billion in federal EITC money for eligible Californians goes unclaimed every year, even as low-income families struggle to make ends meet, according to the county Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. And California offers its own EITC, as well.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said many residents simply aren’t aware of the federal and state credits — which combined can pay out as much as $6,000 — or need help in filing paperwork.
“Claiming earned income tax credits can put thousands of new dollars in the pockets of low-income women and men in the county and help them secure a more stable financial future for themselves and their families,” Kuehl said.
More than 50,000 workers who filed California taxes last year failed to claim the credit, according to Consumer Affairs. Thousands more who qualify don’t bother to file taxes because they make below the required income threshold.
Residents making less than $54,000 annually may qualify, and the county is offering referrals to free tax preparation services.
Most eligible Californians are single women and part-time workers.
“Hard work pays off and we are here to make sure our residents know that,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said.
Interested individuals can call 800-593-8222 or find information online at www.CalEITC4Me.org.
The county’s Center for Financial Empowerment declared this week as California Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Week.