Saturday, February 28, 2015

Californians Missing Out on Over $1 Billion in Tax Refunds

By Aaron Glantz

California taxpayers are leaving more than $1.2 billion in tax refunds on the table, money that could be used to give working class residents a financial lifeline and give a needed economic stimulus to the state's economy, according to a new report released by the New America Foundation.

At issue is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides refunds of up to $5,028 for a family of four.

More than 800,000 Californians will miss out on it this year, say researchers, simply because they haven't applied for it.

"The Earned Income Tax Credit is the biggest antipoverty tool you've never heard of," said Anne Stuhldreher, a fellow in the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation.

Hispanics, non-English speakers and people on food stamps are the most likely to be eligible for the credit, but not take it, she said. Those are also the groups that stand to benefit the most from it.

"It might be tougher for them filling out their taxes," she said, "but there are armies of volunteers that are across the country that have been set up exactly to help people claim these credits."

Category: Local

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