- Each year, up to $80 million goes unclaimed by Detroit taxpayers
- City mobilizes 500 volunteers, expands locations where residents can get help
- Some taxpayers can receive more back from Uncle Sam than they paid
- More than 30 locations will increase access to free tax preparation assistance
Mayor Mike Duggan today joined with Accounting Aid Society (AAS), the IRS, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and community organizations to launch an outreach and education campaign to help thousands of Detroiters get a larger tax refund through the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit.
An estimated 26,000 Detroit households are eligible and do not apply for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit, leaving upwards of $80 million dollars unclaimed. With its new outreach efforts, the City of Detroit and its partners will encourage Detroiters to file a tax return to claim the credit. The AAS will train more than 500 volunteers to assist with free tax preparation at sites across the City.
Today’s announcement took place on the first floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center at one of the Accounting Aid Society’s free tax prep sites.
“The earned income tax credit can put money directly in Detroiters’ pockets and could even make the difference in their ability to stay in their home or pay their utility bills,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “For far too long Detroit hasn’t claimed its share of EITC dollars and we want to make sure they receive everything they are entitled to.”
Eligibility and benefits of filing
The EITC is available to working families and individuals who meet certain income requirements. The amount of the EIC depends on income, filing status and number of qualifying children claimed as dependents on the taxpayer’s tax return. To receive the credit, you must file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are otherwise not required to file.
For example, a single individual age 25-64 with no children who works a part-time, minimum wage job and earned $8,300 in 2016, could get back as much as $500. A family consisting of a married couple with three or more children who files a joint return, with combined income of $23,000, would receive the maximum EIC of $6,269. In some cases, eligible taxpayers may receive more in their refund than they paid in federal taxes.
"United Way has long recognized the impact EITC provides to low-income households in our communities," said Eric Davis, vice president of community impact, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. "We remain committed to assisting families by connecting them to this tax benefit, and we will be expanding our 211 call center capacity to assist Detroiters in scheduling appointments for free tax preparation services.”
Expanded outreach efforts
The Accounting Aid Society (AAS) has partnered with the City to prepare the EITC and other tax credits, along with local, state and federal tax returns as a free service for working-class people at more than 30 locations across Detroit, which can be found at www.detroitmi.gov/eitc.
“The EITC is an important tax benefit for working people and their families. But to get it, you must file a tax return and claim it,” said AAS President Kathleen Hatke Aro. “We want to make sure more people know about the Earned Income Tax Credit and take advantage of it and all of the other refunds and credits they may be entitled to. In this way, we are helping people expand their financial potential.”
"We want workers who may qualify for EITC to have all the information they need to get this important benefit,” said Jim Fish, IRS Area Director for IRS Stakeholder Partnerships Education and Communication. “This credit can make a huge difference for hard-working Americans and it is one of the government's best tools to fight poverty."
“SER Metro-Detroit is pleased to be a partner with the Mayor’s office as an EITC Initiative Intake Site Partner,” said Eva Garza Dewaelsche, president and CEO of SER Metro-Detroit. “We believe it is important to educate our community on the benefits of this program and how it helps families build financial security.”
The city also thanked Cities for Financial Empowerment and Community Economic Development Association of Michigan for their contributions and support of this initiative. Additionally, OUTFRONT Media has provided 30 billboards at no cost to the city that will urge residents to apply for their credit.
Detroiters looking for more information on how to take advantage of the EITC can visit www.DetroitMI.Gov/eitc