Tax season is here, leaving many metro families alternately biting their nails at the thought of having to pay more and dreaming of how to spend or save a refund. That refund can soon become a reality for Oklahomans eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), available to individuals who earn less than $56,000 a year and are between the ages of 25 and 64.
This annual refund supports low-and moderate-income workers by reducing their federal tax burden and often providing a refund. The refund amount increases based on the number of children in the household and is often between $2,000 – $6,000 per eligible person.
In 2018, the average Oklahoma EITC refund was $2,470. But it’s estimated that 319,000 Oklahomans who qualify for the EITC don’t take advantage of the opportunity.
“Every year, Oklahomans leave millions of dollars on the table because they don’t claim EITC,” said Robert Ruiz, OKC Tax Help Community Ambassador. “In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 6 Oklahomans and 1 in 5 Oklahoma children live in a household with an income below the poverty line, with 23 percent of EITC-eligible households in Oklahoma not claiming the credit. This leaves an estimated $147 million in new federal dollars on the table that could be injected back into Oklahoma’s local economy.”
Qualifying for EITC
In order to qualify for EITC, you must file your taxes and meet a list of requirements relating to your filing and dependent status. This list of rules can be found on the IRS website or www.OKCTaxHelp.org.
Get help claiming EITC
For help with claiming EITC, visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site located across Oklahoma City, which can provide tax preparation and financial services at no cost, as well as determine whether you qualify for EITC. For those who self-file, there are numerous online resources that are easy-to-use, secure and accurate. A comprehensive list of resources can be found at www.OKCTaxHelp.org.
OKC Tax Help, a local, accessible network of free tax help, was recently created through the Arnall Family Foundation to educate Oklahomans about the EITC and help community members obtain earned refunds. To learn more, visit www.OKCTaxHelp.org.