Rebuilding the Middle Class: EITC even more successful than anticipated

Governor Dannel P. Malloy has announced that the number of people filing for Connecticut's new Earned Income Tax Credit is even higher than expected.

CAHS is pleased. This is good public policy and helping rebuild our middle class. We are delighted that the word is getting out about the EITC, and we're glad Governor Malloy recognizes the power of more money in the hands of working people to stimulate the economy. Even beyond the immediate benefit of families spending their EITC returns in their local communities is the fact that they are able to build a base for family economic success.

DRS is doing a great job getting the word out. The average EITC is higher than we expected ($700 vs $540) which could be a function of the lingering recession, or may just reflect early filers. In any case, as the release states, the EITC is already helping lots of working families make ends meet.

We do want to make sure anyone earning less than $50,000 knows that they can get their taxes prepared for free at 100 sites statewide, just by calling 211. And that includes folks filing for the EITC and filing state returns, which are not free at the big players that keep advertising "free" tax prep

His news release is worth repeating in its entirety:
GOV. MALLOY: STATE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN EXPECTED
Program helps working families and puts millions back into state’s economy

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that more than 70,000 Connecticut income tax returns have been processed from taxpayers requesting and benefiting from the new Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

“Connecticut’s new Earned Income Tax Credit, like the longstanding federal Earned Income Tax Credit, provides an economic incentive for low income working families,” said Governor Malloy. “Higher than anticipated EITC applications show just how hard hit these families were during the recession. The additional income the credit provides will help families pay for essentials such as clothing for children, medical care, reduction of household debt, or other living expenses and perhaps even begin to save for the future.”

To date, the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) says that approximately $49.3 million in EITC credits have been approved to qualified applicants. DRS said this follows the trend of other EITC states with the majority of EITC claims being submitted in January and February. In all, the state expects as many as 190,000 Connecticut taxpayers to request the CT EITC.

“We are early in the first year of Connecticut’s EITC,” Governor Malloy said, “but we believe it is already making a difference in residents’ lives. At the same time, it’s a real reinvestment in the state’s consumer economy.”

The maximum CT EITC payment is $1,725. Combined with the federal EITC, the maximum payment a Connecticut family can receive is $7,476. Both programs are expected to put as much as $500 million into the hands of state residents. The EITC program also includes strong safeguards against fraud.

Taxpayers can learn more about this program at the DRS website.

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