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As Tax Deadline Looms, Hughes, Torsella Urge Pennsylvanians to Claim Tax Credit

PHILADELPHIA, April 4, 2017 — With the deadline for taxpayers to file their income taxes just two weeks away, state Sen. Vincent Hughes and state Treasurer Joe Torsella today urged Pennsylvanians to claim every cent of cash they may be owed by the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Standing at a tax preparation center in Center City, Hughes and Torsella urged taxpayers to take advantage of this tax benefit, for which more than a million Pennsylvanians qualify.

State Sen. Vincent Hughes discusses the importance of applying for the EITC during an April 4 news conference at a Center City tax preparation site. With him are Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella (left) and Mary Arthur of Campaign for Working Families (right).

“Every year, hundreds of millions of tax benefits through the EITC go unclaimed —money that hardworking folks can use to help themselves and their families. I’m pleased to join Treasurer Torsella to remind Pennsylvanians about this opportunity,” said Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery). “The tax deadline is almost upon us, so I urge folks to see if they qualify for the EITC when they file their tax returns.”

“All across the Commonwealth, Pennsylvanians get up and work hard every day to make ends meet. Yet year after year, many of our neighbors are leaving a lot of their own cash on the table by not claiming their EITC benefit at tax time,” said Torsella. “I’m glad to join Senator Hughes in encouraging Pennsylvanians to make sure they receive every tax benefit for working families they may qualify for.”

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Individuals must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they do not owe any tax or are not required to file.

On average, qualifying Pennsylvania taxpayers received a refund of around $2,100 through the EITC.

More than 963,000 Pennsylvanians who qualified for the EITC claimed the benefit in 2015, collecting more than $2 billion in tax credits, according to IRS statistics. However, another 197,000 Pennsylvanians missed out on tax credits, leaving more than $430 million on the table in overpayments to the IRS.

The Philadelphia Department of Revenue launched a campaign called “You Earned It Philly” to inform the public about the EITC.

 

“The Earned Income Tax Credit is a meaningful financial opportunity that tens of thousands of Philadelphians are missing out on,” said city Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin. “Residents should visit www.YouEarnedItPhilly.com to find a free tax prep location right now so that they can get their refund, which averages $2,500 in Philadelphia.”

PathWays PA and Campaign for Working Families, Inc. have partnered with the Department of Revenue to provide free tax preparation services and highlighted the need to ensure that taxpayers have the information they need to apply for tax credits that they deserve.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit supports our families and our local economy,” said Marianne Bellesorte, vice president of advocacy at PathWays PA. “So far this year, PathWays PA and our partner, Ceiba, have brought nearly $5 million in federal refunds back into the pockets of local families — $1.5 million of that came from the EITC. We’re so proud to work with the You Earned It Campaign to help Philadelphia families keep the money they earned.”

“Our goal at the Campaign for Working Families, Inc. is to inform the public that we are working on their behalf and ensuring every eligible taxpayer has access to free and accurate tax preparation services, where they can be assured that they will receive all eligible credits they are entitled to,” said Mary Arthur, president/CEO of CWF, Inc. “In this effort to maximize their refund we assist them in building on a stable economic foundation that leads to additional resources and asset development.”

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