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Earned Income Tax Credit Day set

Following the lead of state officials, Lawrence County Commissioners have declared Jan. 29 as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Day.

Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal tax credit designed for low-income wage earners. To collect the credit, the wage earner must file an income tax return. County officials contend many Lawrence Countians are eligible but either may not know it or simply may not take advantage of it.

“Lawrence County is probably the lowest in the state for taking advantage of it,” Gene Myers of the Department of Job and Family Services said. “The income amounts are higher than people think.”

To claim the EITC on your tax return, you must have a valid social security number, have earned income from employment or from self-employment, be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year, or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return and meet income guidelines.

Some other rules: Those who seek an EITC may not use the married, filing separately status on their federal tax return and cannot be a qualifying child of another person.

Those who do not have a qualifying child must be 25 years of age but under 65 at the end of the year, live in the United States for more than half the year, and may not qualify as a dependent of another person.

Local officials want to raise awareness of what it is and who is eligible for it with an informational event at 9 a.m. Jan. 29 at the courthouse.

Earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

$43,279 ($48,279 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children

$40,295 ($45,295 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children

$35,463 ($40,463 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child

$13,440 ($18,440 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

Tax Year 2009 maximum credit:

$5,657 with three or more qualifying children

$5,028 with two qualifying children

$3,043 with one qualifying child

$457 with no qualifying children