An op-ed in Tuesday’s Shreveport Times reminds readers that hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents lose billions of dollars each year by failing to claim the federal earned income tax credit (EITC):
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is something every working, low-income family can claim on their tax return, allowing them to get back an average of $2,600 of their earnings. This is money that can be used to start or grow a savings account for a rainy day or to pay down debt. Regardless of how it is used, the tax credit lets eligible families keep more of what they earn and injects extra cash into local economies.
Each year, more than 860,000 Louisiana residents lose out on about $2.2 billion from their tax returns because they did not claim the EITC. One way to change this is to ensure people in our community know what the credit is.
First, tax filers have to be employed; the tax credit is not a handout. For instance, working families earning less than $40,000 a year are eligible. Secondly, there are no additional requirements or forms to make it difficult to file. The EITC form is included in Form 1040.