CFO Sink Urges Floridians to Claim Valuable Tax Credit
Kevin Cate or Jayme O’Rourke
CFO announces free tax preparation sites statewide for eligible taxpayers
FT. MYERS— Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today visited the United Way House of Ft. Myers to promote Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase public awareness about the EITC and free tax preparation sites. Millions of low- to moderate-income workers in Florida may be eligible to receive this additional tax credit, as well as free help preparing their tax returns.
The IRS estimates that 20 to 25 percent of eligible taxpayers fail to claim the credit, which could put as much as $4,824 into the pockets of a family with two children, send as much as $2,917 to a family with one child, or provide $438 for a worker with no children. The EITC is the federal government’s largest program benefiting lower earning workers.
“Especially in these difficult economic times, the extra dollars eligible taxpayers can receive through the EITC can make their lives a little easier,” said CFO Sink. “When Floridians sit down to file their taxes this year, I encourage everyone to check to see whether they are eligible for nearly $5,000 in tax relief.”
CFO Sink also said some individuals and families may qualify for the credit for the first time because of unemployment or other changes in their financial, marital or parental status during the past year.
Taxpayers with the earnings of or below $38,646 ($41,646 if married filing jointly) for families with two or more children; $33,995 ($36,995 married filing jointly) for families with one child; or $12,880 ($15,880 married filing jointly) if there are no children should check to see if they qualify. The EITC is a valuable but complex tax break. Free help is available to determine eligibility and assist eligible Floridians with tax preparation at volunteer tax assistance sites or at a local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.
People visiting the tax preparation sites should arrive prepared with the following items:
- Valid driver's license or photo identification (self & spouse, if applicable);
- Social Security cards for all persons listed on the return;
- Dates of birth for all persons listed on the return;
- All income statements: Forms W-2, 1099, Social Security, Unemployment, or other benefits statements, self-employment records and any documents showing taxes withheld;
- Dependent child care information: payee’s name, address and SSN or TIN;
- Proof of account at financial institution for direct debit or deposit (i.e. cancelled/ voided check or bank statement);
- Prior year tax return (if available); and
- Any other pertinent documents or papers.
To file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.