The tax credit that puts more money in your pocket

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s time to get out your calculator and pay stubs because income tax season is now in full swing.

But before you get started, there’s an important tax credit you should know about.

6 News spoke with a local accountant about the credit that can help your family.

With tax season officially opening this past Monday, it’s a busy time of year for Hawkins Accounting in Jackson.

“Next week we’re booked pretty good,” said owner Deanna Hawkins.

One thing they’ll be paying close attention to is the Earned Income Tax Credit.

It’s a credit designed to put money back in your pocket.

“Help them get back on their feet, or catch up if they’re behind on something. They’re just supposed to help the low income people,” Hawkins said.

Friday Jan. 27 happens to be Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day.

The Michigan League for Public Policy just put out a comprehensive report on the credit.

The league found that only one in five Michigan taxpayers who are eligible for the credit take advantage of it.

Looking at data from 2014, they mapped out the credit’s impact.

In Jackson County, more than 12,000 households received the credit with an average tax benefit of $141.

In Ingham County nearly 22,000 households got the credit, getting an average of $140.

Hawkins says returns may vary.

But a family with an annual income of around $50,000 can see big bucks.

“Married, filing joint with three or more children, that credit can be $6,200,” Hawkins said.

Along with helping family budgets, this often translates to more money being pumped into the local economy.

That’s why the league and some lawmakers are calling for the tax credit to be expanded.

“I suppose it could make some kind of an impact on it. They are refundable credits. So they are very advantageous for taxpayers,” Hawkins said.

There are tax professionals all over mid-Michigan that are offering free help this tax season.

Visit this website for resources: http://michiganfreetaxhelp.org/

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