HARRISBURG, May 13, 2008 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana and Rep. Jesse White today announced the joint introduction of legislation creating the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Information Act. Senate Bill 1354 and House Bill 2474 would require employers to notify employees that they may be eligible for the federal EITC and would also provide information to allow employees to determine their eligibility.
“Billions of EITC dollars go unclaimed each year with 15-25% of low-income taxpayers not claiming the credit,” Fontana said. “These bills will provide an additional tool to notify taxpayers that they may be eligible to claim the credit.”
Rep. White agrees, “Many residents who are eligible for the EITC do not know about it or how to claim it. We should be doing everything we can to highlight a program that is geared at low-income and working individuals and families.”
The EITC is a federal tax credit for certain people who work and have low wages. It was begun as an anti-poverty and work incentive program that is run by the federal government. Targeted to individuals and families who earn low to moderate wages, the EITC will lower or could eliminate taxes owed if a worker qualifies. The goal of the EITC is to encourage work and reduce poverty; it is credited with lifting more children out of poverty than any other single program.
Both bills have received bipartisan support. Senate Bill 1354 has fifteen co-sponsors. It has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. House Bill 2474 has thirty-two co-sponsors. It has been referred to the House Finance Committee.
The EITC Information Act is supported by Southwestern PA Legal Services. Its Executive Director, Rob Brenner, Esq., will be in Harrisburg today to advocate for the passage of the legislation. He is available at 412-901-1672 for media calls.