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January 22, 2004


SPRINGFIELD – Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn partnered with the Center for Economic Progress to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable tax credit providing tax relief to working poor families and individuals.


            The Federal and Illinois EITC help to supplement wages and provide a tax rebate to low-and moderate-income taxpayers.  The credit is available to families whose incomes range from below the federal poverty line to roughly double the poverty line.   


            “The Earned Income Tax Credit is the best pro-job, pro-family and anti-poverty tax credit devised,” said Quinn.  “It not only rewards work, but it also helps sustain everyday, hardworking citizens – especially those raising children.”


Workers who raised one child in their home and have a family income of $29,067 or less in 2003 could be eligible for a credit of up to $2,547.  Workers who did not raise children in their home but were between the ages of 25 to 64 on December 31, 2003 and had incomes below $11,230 could get a credit of up to $382.  


“At a time of high unemployment and declining wages, this credit gives a much-needed tax relief to those who deserve it most,” said Quinn, adding that many families use the Earned Income Tax Credit to pay utility bills, repair or buy cars, and keep family finances afloat.


In 2002, an estimated 120,000 Illinois families did not receive the EITC because they were unaware of the credit or did not make enough to file a tax return.  Every eligible person must file a tax return to receive the earned income credit.


The Tax Counseling Project of the Center for Economic Progress expects to bring more than $27 million into the state’s economy by preparing over 22,000 tax returns for low- to moderate-income families.  From January 24 through April 15, 2004, volunteers will provide free tax preparations for federal and state income tax returns, including the EITC form. 


Eligible taxpayers are invited to visit 28 free tax preparation sites throughout the state. The sites are in Alton, Peoria, Bloomington, Normal, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, East St. Louis, Marion, Rockford, Elgin, Waukegan, Harvey, Joliet and 13 sites in Chicago.  For a complete listing of free tax preparation sites, log on to www.centerforprogress.org.


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