Politics & Government

Beshear urges Kentucky workers to apply for often overlooked tax credit

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear

Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson reminded low- and middle-income Kentuckians on Friday to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit on their federal income tax returns.

In tax year 2011, Kentuckians filed nearly 401,000 EITC claims for a total of more than $905 million in benefits statewide. The average awarded credit was $2,255.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, an estimated 15 percent to 20 percent of eligible workers do not claim their EITC benefits, mostly because of a lack of awareness of the tax credit. Families earning as much as $50,270 in 2012 could be eligible for the tax credit. More extensive qualification information is available at Assistance.ky.gov.

"Nearly half a million low wage-earning Kentucky taxpayers are eligible to receive the EITC, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to apply for this credit," Beshear said at a news conference in Lexington. "Despite being employed, many hardworking Kentuckians and their families face financial struggles, and this credit is a valuable resource they can use to help buy food and clothes, pay bills and more."

Beshear joined tax preparer volunteers and participants at the United Way of the Bluegrass in Lexington for the announcement. Abramson held a similar news conference in Louisville.

Beshear also announced a list of nearly 200 free tax preparation sites across the state where trained and IRS-certified volunteers will assist Kentuckians in filing their taxes and applying for the tax credit.

To find information about these sites, including addresses, phone numbers and whether appointments are required, go to Assistance.ky.gov or KACA.org.

Kentuckians living in Central and Northern Kentucky also can dial 2-1-1 to find information on free tax preparation sites near them. Counties that with access to 2-1-1 include Anderson, Boone, Bourbon, Bullitt, Campbell, Carroll, Clark, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Oldham, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble and Woodford.

For information about tax preparation sites outside the 2-1-1 calling area, taxpayers may call Community Action Kentucky at 1-800-456-3452.