Posted Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The Morris County Department of Human Services and the Board of Chosen Freeholders have joined with the New Jersey Department of Human Services in urging eligible county residents to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The EITC is a special federal and state tax benefit for low-income working families and individuals that may increase the tax refund to be received, decrease the amount of taxes owed or provide a refund even if taxes are not owed.

However, the state Human Services Department reports thousands of hard working residents miss out on millions of dollars each year because they do not claim the tax credit on their federal and state tax returns.

According to the department, the federal EITC can range between $464 and $5,751 and the state credit ranging from $92 to $1,150, depending on the income of the taxpayer.

In Morris County, eligible taxpayers who do not claim the tax credit leave more than $123 million on the table that could be used to help them remain financially stable, said Shelia D. Carter, Human Services Coordinator.

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax help at locations across the county for taxpayers who qualify, and will be able to let a taxpayer know if he or she is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, Carter said.

She said site locations, most of which offer free electronic filing, may be obtained by dialing the information and referral hot line, 2-1-1.

Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit may also be found online at