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WASHINGTON – Feb. 3, 2009 – Many moderate-income Floridians will qualify for the IRS’ Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the first time in 2008, including some Realtors who worked through a slow year.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has actively promoted the EITC recently, along with awareness of free tax preparation sites. She estimates that millions of low- to moderate-income workers in Florida may be eligible to receive this additional tax credit, as well as free help preparing their tax returns.

The IRS estimates that 20 to 25 percent of eligible taxpayers fail to claim the credit, which could put as much as $4,824 into the pockets of a family with two children, send as much as $2,917 to a family with one child, or provide $438 for a worker with no children. The EITC is the federal government’s largest program benefiting lower earning workers.

“Especially in these difficult economic times, the extra dollars eligible taxpayers can receive through the EITC can make their lives a little easier,” says Sink. She notes that some individuals and families may qualify for the credit for the first time because of unemployment or other changes in their financial, marital or parental status during the past year.

Taxpayers with the earnings of or below $38,646 ($41,646 if married filing jointly) for families with two or more children; $33,995 ($36,995 married filing jointly) for families with one child; or $12,880 ($15,880 married filing jointly) if there are no children, should check to see if they qualify.

The EITC is a valuable but complex tax break. Free help is available to determine eligibility and assist eligible Floridians with tax preparation at volunteer tax assistance sites or at a local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

The locations and hours of operations of free tax preparation sites statewide are available online (PDF format) at:

Source: FAR