Attention, low-wage earners and others who may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit:
The IRS wants to give you your money back.
"These are taxpayers who earned income, and therefore earned the credit," said Debra Holland, director for the IRS' EITC Office. "We want everyone to claim the credit who's entitled."
Last year, nearly 5,200 Douglas County residents successfully claimed the credit on their income-tax returns, giving them a collective $8.2 million. That's an average of more than $1,500 per filer.
Statewide totals from last year's filings: More than 173,000 Kansas returns brought more than $317 million back to Kansas.
But as many as one in four taxpayers who are eligible for the payback - up to $4,716 for a family with two or more children, $2,853 for a family with one child or $425 for a taxpayer who does not reside with the children - fail to take advantage, according to IRS estimates.
Specific eligibility requirements, filing instructions and other information can be found at www.irs.gov/eitc, but, in general, taxpayers can claim the credit on their 2007 tax returns if a taxpayer:
¢ has more than one qualifying child and earns less than $37,783.
¢ has one qualifying child and earns less than $33,241.
¢ does not have a child and earns less than $12,590.
Each of the income limits rises by $2,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.
Eligible people who fail to claim the credit often include Spanish speakers; individuals who are self-employed or have service jobs in private households; childless taxpayers; rural residents; and recipients of other kinds of public assistance, such as food stamps, the IRS says. New parents, grandparents raising grandchildren and foster parents also may be unaware.