FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2013
More Than 6,200 Low-Income New Yorkers Eligible for Tax Credit Did Not Apply - Finance Department Completed Forms to Connect Tax Filers with Return
Tax Credit Worth More Than $2,200 for Families with Dependents
Department of Finance Commissioner David M. Frankel and Center for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Kristin Morse today announced that the City has completed and mailed amended Federal returns to more than 6,000 New Yorkers who are eligible for the 2009 City, State and Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but did not apply. The completed returns may be received as early as today. Recipients need only to enter basic personal information, such as a social security number, sign the returns, and drop them in the mailbox. For the 2009 tax year, 875,466 New Yorkers filed for EITC and received more than $2.5 billion in City, State and Federal refunds. However, some 6,239 filers who the Department of Finance has found to be eligible did not apply, and so the Department completed the forms so that filers could receive the tax credit before it expires this year. Tax filers have up to three years to file for the EITC. The Department of Finance pre-fills in all of the income information required to receive the tax credit. The average tax credit for families with dependents is more than $2,200. The Finance Department has also supplied envelopes addressed to Federal tax filing facilities, all recipients have to do is finalize the forms, sign, stamp, and send them in. Unlike the Federal EITC, New York State and City EITC checks will be mailed by the State Department of Taxation and Finance directly to taxpayers with no further paperwork required.
"The Department of Finance works hard to make sure low income New Yorkers who are entitled to the Earned Income Tax Credit get the money they so rightfully deserve," said New York City Department of Finance Commissioner Frankel. "Amended Federal returns will be hitting mailboxes soon, so be on the lookout. Sign them, send them, and hopefully your Federal checks will join the State and City EITC already coming your way in the weeks ahead. I want to thank our partners, particularly New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas Mattox, Center for Economic Opportunity Executive Director, IRS Territory Manager for New York City James Duffy and their staffs for their work to provide this benefit to hard working New Yorkers."
The Center for Economic Opportunity has been working with Finance since 2007 to ensure that working-class New Yorkers take advantage of every tool in their arsenal to fight the cycle of poverty in New York City.
"Six years ago the Department of Finance responded to our call for new strategies to reduce poverty in New York City, recognizing that the Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the nation's most effective antipoverty programs," said CEO Executive Director Morse. "The EITC mailing has helped low-income working families claim millions in tax credits, and has been replicated in other states. The Department of Finance has helped make it even more effective for New Yorkers."
"I commend Commissioner Frankel and Director Morse for this innovative approach to ensure that all City residents who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit receive it," said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox. "New York State's EITC is one of the most generous of any state in the nation, and we're pleased to provide the benefits to those City residents who missed the opportunity to apply."
The Department of Finance, working with the Center for Economic Opportunity administered this first-of-its kind program in 2007 and it has since been duplicated in Maryland and California. The City's Department of Finance has put over $15 million in the pockets of New Yorkers who mailed back nearly 25,000 amended returns since this program's inception. The State and Federal governments will pay for the bulk of the tax credit. The City, which has had an EITC since 2004, will contribute an additional $178,000 in tax credits. Nearly $4.8 million in EITC will go to taxpayers with dependents.
The City offers three different ways for eligible New Yorkers to file their taxes and claim their tax refunds for free or at very low cost, as well as a tax-time savings program called SaveUSA. The City's online tax preparation and free tax sites are available now. The City has also partnered with H&R Block to allow New Yorkers who live in Hurricane Sandy-affected zip codes and suffered the loss of their homes, household items, or vehicles to be able to file the casualty loss form (Form 4684), which may reduce taxable income, for free at any H&R Block location in the City. City partners have opened additional Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in Far Rockaway and Red Hook. For more information about these options, call 311 and ask for "tax preparation assistance," or go to nyc.gov and search "tax prep."