Who Takes Credit? Earned Income Tax Recipients in Cleveland

November 22, 2005

A survey of some of the 1580 Cleveland-area tax filers who received free tax assistance through sites in a local tax coalition found that nearly half claimed the earned income tax credit (EITC). Of these, nearly a quarter did not know if they’d previously been eligible for the credit and more than 16 percent had not filed taxes at all the previous year. Of those who had previously gotten the EITC, nearly 40 percent had previously paid for tax preparation, and about 15 percent had paid extra for an early refund. Such fees can cost more than $300 for a $1500 credit according to the Brookings Institution.

These are encouraging results. More working families in our community are getting the credits they deserve and avoiding expensive fees.

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