Philadelphia, PA - The City of Philadelphia has launched its annual awareness and support campaign to help tens-of-thousands of Philadelphia residents apply for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The initiative aims to dispel the misconception that filing is complex and costly, while also increasing EITC awareness for those who are eligible.
Nearly 200,000 already claim EITC, but over 40,000 Philadelphia residents are estimated to be eligible for EITC but don’t apply. That leaves more than $100 million in tax credits unclaimed. The City will help Philadelphia residents determine if they are eligible for the EITC, guide them through the filing process, and offer convenient assistance through a number of resources. The average Federal EITC refund in Philadelphia is $2,500, and the maximum benefit is $6,318. The 2017 maximum income level for claiming the EITC is $53,930.
Last year, over 25,000 Philadelphians received free tax return preparation at 20 City-sponsored sites throughout the City, which totaled over $38 million in refunds. This included $11 million of EITC refunds, and resulted in saving taxpayers an estimated $5.8 million in service fees.
The City has partnered with two non-profit agencies to assist working Philadelphians with tax preparation services. These organizations are: the Campaign for Working Families, a non-profit organization committed to helping working families and individuals achieve economic empowerment, as well as PathwaysPA, one of the region’s foremost providers of residential and community-based services for women, children and families.
To qualify, residents must:
• Meet income limits, which range between $15,010, and $53,930, depending upon whether a person is filing as single, head of household, or married filing jointly, as well as the number of qualifying children
• Be between the ages of 25-65 or have a qualifying child
• Have been a U.S. citizen or resident alien during the entire calendar year of 2017
• Have a valid Social Security number
The filing deadline for the 2017 Federal EITC is April 17, 2018. Eligible taxpayers can also still file or amend returns for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 EITC if they haven’t already. The Philadelphia Department of Revenue is encouraging filing sooner rather than later.