TRENTON � Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) issued the following statement today to urge residents that they should check their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal and state income tax credit for working poor families. Senator Turner is the sponsor of S1141, which would restore the state�s Earned Income Credit program from 20 to 25 percent of the federal credit. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 20 percent of eligible workers do not claim the EITC, leaving millions of dollars unclaimed that should be returned to taxpayers to use to stimulate New Jersey�s economy:
�With families struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, we need to ensure that our residents are receiving every penny that they�re entitled to receive back from Washington and Trenton and into their pockets. Many families need the extra money to help them to catch up on their bills or to pay the skyrocketing cost of gas for commuting back and forth to work. The EITC is a lifeline for helping working families in their financial struggle to make ends meet.�
The credit is based on income and the number of children per household. Families with one child and income of less than $36,052 (or $41,132 if married filing jointly) can receive up to $3,094. Families with three or more children and an income of less than $43,998 ($49,078 if married filing jointly) can receive up to $5,751. Workers without qualifying children may also be eligible. Workers whose income is below the filing requirement must still file a return to receive the EITC. Qualified workers will also receive a state earned income credit � 20 percent of the federal credit. Since the state earned income credit was cut in 2010, Senator Turner has been fighting to restore the credit to 25 percent of the federal credit. The deadline for filing taxes this year is April 17.