Tax Credits Available for Low-income Workers & Families

Children and Families, Revenue Work Together to Increase Tax Credit Claims

Friday, January 30, 2009
Contact: Jessica Iverson - DOR, 608-266-2300,
Contact: Ryan Reszel – DCF, (608) 266-9000

MADISON – As part of EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide outreach campaign, Department of Children and Families Secretary Reggie Bicha and Revenue Secretary Roger Ervin today encouraged state residents to check their eligibility for tax credits aimed at helping low-income workers and families - the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC, EIC) and the Homestead Credit.

Wisconsin's low income wage earners and families may be eligible for the credits, which can provide more than $7,600 of additional income for eligible taxpayers. It is estimated that 20-25 percent of Wisconsin taxpayers eligible for the EITC do not claim it on their returns.

"Many low-income Wisconsin families live from paycheck to paycheck, and the recent decline in the national economy has put even greater financial pressures on them," Secretary Bicha said. "The EITC can give low-income workers and their families the lift they need during these trying economic times."

Wisconsin residents who need help preparing their tax returns and Homestead Credit claims can receive free assistance at one of more than 200 sites across the state. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) locations offer tax preparation services to taxpayers for whom paid assistance might be out of reach. The sites are staffed by volunteers trained to identify tax credit eligibility. Many of the sites electronically file tax returns, which makes refunds available within five business days.

"Never has it been more important for low-income workers to receive the maximum refunds for which they are eligible, and to receive them quickly," said Revenue Secretary Roger M. Ervin. "Electronic filing provides refunds in just days, and that is a great benefit for Wisconsin's working families."

To be eligible for the credits, a person must meet certain income levels in 2008 (less than $38,646 for the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits and less than $24,500 for the Homestead Credit) and be a full year legal resident of the state.

EITC Awareness Day is a nationwide effort by the Internal Revenue Service, state agencies and community organizations to increase awareness of tax credit eligibility among low-income families.

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For more information on credit eligibility and for VITA locations, visit www.revenue.wi.gov

Page last updated January 30, 2009