Group plans outreach on tax credit

If you're eligible, the Earned Income Tax Credit could land your household a hefty chunk of money.

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WALLA WALLA -- An often overlooked tax credit could result in a bigger piece of the financial pie for some Walla Walla residents.

About 25 percent of eligible households fail to claim a refundable tax credit worth an average of nearly $2,000 for Walla Walla's eligible claimants, according to Internal Revenue Service estimates.

Consequently, representatives of the Walla Walla Asset Building Coalition will station themselves in front of two grocery stores Friday to spread the word about the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

From noon to 2 p.m., information will be available at Super 1 and Grocery Outlet for those interested in learning more about the anti-poverty tax credit that last year brought almost $1.3 million in additional Earned Income Tax Credit claims to Walla Walla County.

The Asset Building Coalition, an initiative designed to enhance local residents' financial understanding and practices, said in an announcement the IRS estimates there's still about $1 million in unclaimed money for Walla Walla through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The credit is for working families that earned less than $48,000 in 2010. The value of the credit depends on income and family size.

Originally approved by Congress in 1975, the credit was designed to offset the burden of Social Security taxes and to provide an incentive to work, according to information from the Internal Revenue Service. When the tax credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a refund to those who claim and qualify for it.

Those who meet the requirements must file a tax return even if they did not earn enough money to be obligated to file.

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