From The Mayor’s Desk...
From The Mayor’s Desk...
Come And Get
There is finally some good news about taxes-news directed at nearly a quarter-million hard-working New Yorkers. Suppose you’re part of a working family with more than one child and an income of less than $34,178.
Or you’re a single man or woman earning less than $11,060 a year. You may be eligible to get money from Uncle Sam and the state government on your income taxes for 2002.
The Earned Income Tax Credit, or "EITC", effectively returns federal and state tax dollars to working families and individuals either in the form of a credit on their taxes, or as cash refunds. Qualifying for the EITC could very well amount to thousands of dollars in your pocket. In fact, the average EITC for 2002 is over $2,000, and some families are in line to receive more than twice that amount. That’s money that can help you pay the rent, cover the cost of your utility bills and meet other basic expenses in these tough economic times.
Increasing the number of New Yorkers receiving the EITC will also help the city’s economy. In fact, if everyone who qualified for the EITC actually received it, it would put $500 million in the pockets of New
Yorkers who need it most-and circulate two or three times that much money through the economy, as those dollars get used for purchases and payments.
The Federal Internal Revenue Service estimates that there are about 230,000 New Yorkers who qualify for the EITC, but don’t apply for it. Why? Well in many cases, people don’t know about the EITC, or they don’t know how to claim it.
The City’s Department of Consumer Affairs is working to change that. They’ve mounted a coordinated citywide campaign designed to help New Yorkers file for the EITC. In cooperation with other government agencies, corporations and community organizations, they’re launching a radio, television and newspaper advertising campaign with this theme: "It’s Your Money. Come And Get It." They even have a hotline to help people with their questions: 212-487-4444 in English and in Spanish or online at www.nyc.gov/consumers.
From January 15th through April 15th-the deadline for filing income taxes-there will be free tax preparation centers set up at community organizations, in public housing developments and in support centers throughout the city.
Think of the EITC this way. If you earn $7 per hour, in most cases by filing for the EITC you will, you will be raising your wages to $8.70 an hour. In other words, you can give yourself a raise of better than 20 per cent. It’s your money. Come and get it.