IRS Promotes Programs for Saving Refunds, Opening Accounts

More than 22.4 million taxpayers received more than $43.7 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on their 2006 federal income tax returns, but the IRS estimates that approximately one in four eligible taxpayers fails to claim EITC. Eligibility requirements for the credit can be complex, the agency says, adding that many people may not realize they qualify, including non-English speakers, non-traditional families, the homeless, childless workers, rural residents, and those who have earned income but may not have a filing requirement.

IRS says that many organizations offering free tax help also are encouraging taxpayers to save a little money or open a bank account. The agency says it has helped in this effort by creating a split-refund program that allows all taxpayers to divide their refunds among up to three financial accounts, such as checking, savings, and retirement. EITC claimants are eligible for free tax preparation services provided at nearly 12,000 volunteer sites nationwide. They also can link to Free File through IRS.gov if they wish to prepare their own returns.

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