Thousands of state residents to receive amended returns
June 1, 2009
ALBANY — Federal, state and New York City officials have announced that the state Department of Taxation and Finance is mailing letters and amended federal and state 2006 tax returns to nearly 13,000 taxpayers who may be eligible for an additional tax refund through the Earned Income Credit (EIC). The EIC is available to low income, working families with or without dependent children. Some families may qualify for refunds from the federal, state and New York City governments. The credit is “refundable,” meaning that families may get a refund even though they owed no taxes. State Tax Commissioner Robert L. Megna said, “A review of our 2006 records indicates that many working families qualified for this credit but failed to apply. In some cases, taxpayers may receive a refund from the federal, state and New York City governments. “The EIC helps families meet day-to-day expenses and save for the future. This is real tax relief and we encourage all qualified taxpayers to file the amended return and receive a refund through this family-friendly tax credit,” Commissioner Megna said. Fred McElligott, IRS Area Director for Stakeholder Partnerships, Education & Communication, said, “These New Yorkers could be eligible to receive up to $6,123 in federal, state, and local earned income tax credits for 2006. This is money that could make their lives a little easier during tough times, but they must respond to claim it.” This mailing is an extension of the pilot program that began in New York City in 2007. The City’s Department of Finance has worked closely with the state Department of Taxation and Finance to implement the mailing and is working with the IRS to model the project nationwide. NYC Finance Department Acting Commissioner Michael Hyman said, “Finance is extremely proud with the way this program has taken off. By expanding this program to the entire state, we are ensuring that thousands of hard working New Yorkers get the benefits they are entitled to. Government has just as much of an obligation to let people know when they are eligible for credits and cash payments as it does to inform taxpayers when they have not paid enough.” David A. Hansell, Commissioner of the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) said, “The Earned Income Credit is the most effective tool we have to help low-income working families achieve a greater sense of economic security for themselves and their families and it is imperative that we do all we can to see that all who are eligible receive this credit. The resulting tax refunds will help with necessities such as food and clothing or even allow families to begin to save for emergencies or educational expenses for their children.” The Tax Department will start mailing letters and amended 2006 tax returns this week to those who may qualify. Taxpayers only have to review the forms, enter their social security numbers, their dependents’ information if applicable, and sign the return. Filers won’t need the help of a tax expert. For the 2006 tax year, the EIC was available to working families with incomes up to $36,348 ($38,348 for married taxpayers filing jointly), depending on the number of children in the household. Taxpayers with no dependent children could earn no more than $12,120 ($14,120 for married taxpayers filing jointly). If the taxpayers qualify for the EIC payment, they could receive two checks — one from the IRS and one from the state (covering both the state and New York City payment). For the 2006 tax year, the EIC paid 1.5 million eligible New York families more than $3.7 billion in combined federal, state and city assistance. Taxpayers may also qualify for this credit for the 2007 and 2008 tax years. For information about the federal EIC, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. For information about the New York or New York City EIC, visit the state Tax Department’s Web site at www.nystax.gov or call 1-800-225-5829.
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