Tax Credits help southwest Georgians - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tax Credits help southwest Georgians

January 24, 2006

Albany -- You may be eligible for big tax credits you don't know about.

If you have a job but don't earn a lot, you could be eligible for a tax credit of up to $4,400. And you could get even more money back if you have children.

In this congressional district, there is more than $20 million in tax credits available for people with low to moderate income jobs. Two of them include the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

Congressman Sanford Bishop wants to make sure you're getting the money you deserve.

They are store clerks, waitresses and custodians. Hard working Georgians who have jobs, but just don't make a lot of money.

Rep. Sanford Bishop said, "These are people who work every day but still earn limited incomes and who need all the help they can get." 

Bishop says that help from the federal government comes in the form of tax credits. "These are tax credits that are targeted to low to moderate income working families."

The first is called the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you have a job but make less than $11,490 a year, you could be eligible for as much as a $399 credit. If you have one child and make less than $31,030, you could get up to $2,662. Two or more children, and you could qualify for as much as $4,400 under the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The second credit is called the Child Tax Credit. It's worth up to $1,000 for each child under 17 claimed as a dependent. And if your children are in college, you may still qualify.

Again to get this tax credit you must have a job, and make more than $10,750 a year, and yes, you can get both tax credits!

Pastor Jimmy Sneed of Rivers of Living Waters Church said, "I think literally 100 of people could take advantage of this situation." Pastor Sneed had never heard of the tax credits and can't wait to tell his congregation about them. "I think it's a great incentive, if we can get the information out there."

Getting the information to the people was the purpose of today's town hall meeting with Congressman Bishop. He hopes people will use the money to better themselves and their families.

Bishop says, "To purchase shoes for children, or school supplies, or to pay for a school trip, or to purchase a computer. Or it can be used to supplement the family income."

He says these tax credits are the federal governments way of helping people who help themselves, by working instead of solely relying of welfare.

One in four people in this area who are eligible for the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits don't take advantage of it. Congressman Bishop hopes by getting them the information, they can get the money they have coming to them.

You can call the IRS help line at 1-800-829-1040, or 1-877-777-4778. You can also click here for the IRS website.

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