By Bernie Becker - 01/28/11 10:55 PM EST
Neal Wolin, the deputy Treasury secretary, headlined a conference call on this fifth annual E.I.T.C. Awareness Day, pointing out that the stimulus package expanded the credit and that it was extended in the tax-cut compromise enacted late last year.
“Early on, this administration recognized its importance in helping working families pay for their needs, especially during such a difficult economic period,” Wolin said on the conference call.
According to a release from the IRS, the maximum credit awarded is $5,666, for workers with at least three qualifying children. Those making $48,362 or less qualify for the E.I.T.C., and a taxpayer does not need to have children to claim the credit.
On the conference call, Cecille Jones, the IRS’s acting director for electronic tax administration, said those who are eligible but don’t claim the credit include taxpayers who don’t have children, those caring for their grandchildren, and workers living in rural areas where tax help may not be as accessible.
“In case you’re wondering why we’re making such a big deal about a tax credit that’s been on the books since 1975, it’s because we estimate four of five eligible workers claim and get their EITC each year,” Jones said. “Meaning one in five, or millions of taxpayers, are missing out.”