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Thousands of Dollars of “Free Money”

It could be worth nearly $5,000 to you, but many people leave that money unclaimed, unaware of the Earned Income Tax Credit. FOX 23’s Kaci Christian joins us now to explain who gets the money.

“It all depends on meeting certain income qualifications,” reports FOX 23’s Kaci Christian. “These CPAs from the Oklahoma Society of CPAs are taking calls [during our newscast from 5-6p on Thursday, March 12, 2009] to help you figure out whether you’re eligible. The IRS says 25% of the low-income people who qualify never even apply for the money simply because they’ve never heard of it.”

Corine Delcambre is a recent transplant to Tulsa. She’s a clerk at a local grocery store. Her husband is a student. And they have three children. Their combined household income is less than $12,000 a year. Preparing her tax return wasn’t something Corine was looking forward to, until she learned about the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“Oh, okay! Wow. This is really a shock,” Corine says.

It’s a shock to the tune of more than $4,000. According to the 2008 Earned Income Credit (EIC) Table, the chart shows the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for someone married, filing jointly, with two or more children earning $12,000 a year is $4,810. That’s the amount of the EITC Corine can apply for, based on her estimate of their combined earnings from earned wages, defined by CPA Rick Freeman as “primarily salaries and W-2 wages, net, the net earnings from self-employment income, tips.”

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