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Kentuckians urged to apply for earned income tax credit

Governor Steve Beshear today joined Congressman Ben Chandler, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and others at the United Way of the Bluegrass to launch his annual campaign to urge eligible Kentuckians to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable federal tax credit for low- and middle-income working individuals and families.

“This tax credit is an extremely valuable resource for low-wage earning taxpayers struggling in this difficult economy, and I want to make certain that every Kentuckian eligible for this benefit receives it,” Gov. Beshear said. “In addition, an estimated 97 percent of received funds from this credit are infused back into local communities, thus boosting Kentucky business and benefiting local economies.”

In tax year 2010, Kentuckians filed nearly 400,000 EITC claims for a total of more than $876 million in benefits statewide. The average awarded credit was $2,200. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an estimated 15 to 20 percent of eligible workers still do not claim their EITC benefits, mostly due to lack of awareness.

Gov. Beshear announced a list of nearly 200 free tax preparation sites across the state where trained and IRS-certified volunteers will assist Kentuckians with filing their taxes and applying for EITC. To find information about these sites, including addresses, phone numbers and if appointments are required, visit http://assistance.ky.gov/.

In addition, beginning Jan. 17 Kentuckians living in central and northern Kentucky areas can dial 2-1-1 to find information on free tax preparation sites near them. Counties who can access 2-1-1 include Anderson, Boone, Bourbon, Bullitt, Campbell, Carroll, Clark, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Oldham, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble and Woodford.

For information about tax preparation sites outside the 2-1-1 calling area, taxpayers may call Community Action Kentucky at (800) 456-3452.

Eligibility for the EITC is based on income and household composition, as is the amount of the credit. Families who earned up to $49,078 in 2011 can be eligible for EITC. More extensive qualification information is also available at http://assistance.ky.gov/.

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