Oregonians can get a larger tax refund with the Earned Income Tax Credit

Oregon has one of the lowest EITC participation rates in the country, with only 74.4
percent of eligible taxpayers claiming the credit in 2013, according to the IRS. The
Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon Department of Revenue
are working with other state agencies and community partners to encourage
taxpayers to learn more about this credit and find out if they’re eligible.

The EITC can mean a refund of up to $6,269 if the person filing has qualifying
children. In 2015, the average EITC refund for Oregon taxpayers was $2,136.
To be eligible, taxpayers must have earned income last year and have a valid
Social Security number (SSN). Other eligibility requirements for filers include:
· They can’t use the “married filing separate” filing status.
· Children they’re claiming on their return can’t be the qualifying child of another
· They must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year (in most
Taxpayers can use the IRS’ EITC Assistant to further check their eligibility.

Those who qualify for the EITC can also claim Oregon’s Earned Income Credit
(EIC), which is 8% of the taxpayer’s federal credit. There also are other
federal tax credits that workers may be eligible for, including the American
Opportunity Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Additional Child Tax Credit.

Those who need help determining if they’re eligible for certain tax credits or need
assistance with filing their federal or Oregon return have some free or low-cost
options. Some companies offer free tax preparation software and e-filing for eligible
taxpayers. To see these offers, visit http://cashoregon.org/file-taxes-online/.

AARP and CASH Oregon provide free or low-cost, in-person tax preparation
services throughout Oregon. To see their locations, visit http://cashoregon.org/locations/.
People can also call 211 or visit http://211info.org/eitc to find free tax return preparation sites.

For more information on the EITC, visit www.irs.gov. For questions about Oregon
taxes, call the Department of Revenue at 503-378-4988. For questions about the
Department of Human Services call, 503-945-5600.

Posted on January 26, 2017 .