NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- PSE&G urges New Jersey's workforce members who are in financial difficulty to see if they are eligible for the 2011 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This special credit reduces the amount of taxes owed by eligible workers and sometimes provides a tax refund as well.
Many people who qualify for the credit, offered by
New Jersey and by the federal government, are confused about how to apply for it. Depending on their income, individuals who worked full- or part-time or were self-employed in 2011 may qualify for the credit regardless of whether they are married or have children.
New parents, foster parents, and grandparents raising grandchildren all may be eligible. Some families, including those raising children with disabilities and those in the military, often don't know that special rules may make them eligible as well.
Each year the EITC puts billions of dollars into the hands of millions of lower- to middle-income workers. For their 2010 taxes, nearly 26.8 million eligible families and individuals claimed EITC worth nearly $59.5 billion. Approximately 527,950 of those received an additional $232 million in state EITC benefits. The average state EITC credit amount was $439.New Jersey residents should know that those eligible for the New Jersey EITC must file a state resident income tax return, even if they have no tax liability to New Jersey and do not usually file a state tax form. "EITC can be a boost for working people hit by hard economic times," said Joe Forline, PSE&G's vice president of customer operations. "If you lost your job in 2011 or had your work hours reduced, you might not realize that your decreased income qualifies you for the credit this time." The state of New Jersey has launched a public awareness campaign to promote the tax benefit and urges all eligible residents to take advantage of the program. The New Jersey Department of Human Services-Division of Family Development, PSE&G, the Association for Children of New Jersey, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are working together to spread the word. As a result of our collective efforts to alert eligible taxpayers about EITC, the latest data indicates more qualified taxpayers are getting the credit. The IRS estimate four of five eligible taxpayers received their EITC last year. This means that millions of additional taxpayers are getting the credit they have earned. PSE&G includes EITC information on the company's Web site at www.pseg.com/eitc and in customer bill messages during the first few months of the year. In addition, several of PSE&G's 16 Customer Service Centers display EITC information at the centers. New Jersey individuals and families whose 2011 earnings were lower than $49,000 can get their taxes prepared free of charge. To find out where you can get free help filing your taxes, call the NJ Community Resource Hotline at 211 or 1-877-652-1148. "Outreach and tax assistance play an important role in connecting New Jersey's lower-income workers to greatly needed tax credits," Forline said. "EITC can make life a little easier." For general information, visit www.njeitc.org. For information on the Federal EITC, call 1-800-829-1040 or visit www.irs.gov/eitc.
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