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Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs reminds taxpayers –

Monday, February 24, 2014

Federal and State Tax Credits can add up – See if you qualify 

If you worked in the past year and earned $52,000 or less, you can get your taxes filed for free and you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Everyone who qualifies should take advantage of the tax credits available to them.  That is why I am pleased that the Erie County Clerk’s Office is once again partnering with the United Way CASHProgram to assist taxpayers file accurate state and federal returns.  All of the credits have one thing in common, you cannot receive them if you do not file your tax return   A tax credit puts extra money in your pocket.  

Let the United Way CASH Program help you navigate through the somewhat confusing aspects of tax preparation including applying for the Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC).  The CASH Program increases the stability of low-income families by opening access to tax credits and other benefit programs and offering free tax preparation services to help working families and individuals file tax returns. 

If you are not familiar with the Earned Income Tax Credit, following is some basic information The EITC is a federal tax benefit created by the federal government in 1975 for working people who earn low to moderate incomes.  It is a refundable credit that reduces or eliminates income taxes owed and helps individuals keep more of what they earn.  .  If the amount of tax credit the worker qualifies for is more than the taxes owed, the worker will receive the difference as a cash refund.

To qualify you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file.  You must have worked in 2013, meet the income limits below and have one or more qualifying children or be between the ages of 25 and 65 without a child.

2013 Earned Income Tax Credit Requirements:

Number of Children


maximum income

Married filing jointly

Maximum income

Maximum EITC

No children




1 child




2 children




3 or more children




The EITC can contribute a substantial amount of money to families who are struggling to make ends meet, as much as $6,044 depending on the size of the family.  Over 27 million eligible individuals and families received nearly $62 billion in EITC. Those EITC dollars had a significant impact on the lives and communities of the nation’s lowest paid working people.  .  The Internal Revenue Service reports that the EITC has helped bring over 6 million people above the poverty line, half of them children. 

It is not too late to apply for the 2013 Earned Income Tax Credit – the filing deadline is April15, 2014.  If you think you may qualify, you may attend the County Clerk’s Free Income Tax Preparation for working families and individuals filing tax returns, claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 5:00 -8:00 PM at the Erie County Auto Bureau- Northtown Plaza, 3095 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, NY.  Reservations are required and can be made through the United Way CASH Program by calling 2-1-1. If you require additional information on the event and what information you need to bring in order to file, please visit www.erie.gov/clerk/taxprep.