HARRISBURG, December 7, 2011 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana has introduced legislation requiring employers to post and provide written notification to employees of their potential eligibility for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Fontana said Senate Bill 1347, the Earned Income Tax Credit Notification Act, is aimed at raising awareness of this program for individuals and families who earn low to moderate wages.  The Senator is also urging employers to provide this information on their own to employees.

“Raising awareness about the EITC and the fact that individuals and families may be eligible for this credit is important at this time of year when we begin seeing ads for Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs),” Fontana said. “The EITC can put money back in the hands of families, without having the high interest rates and administrative fees that may come with those loans. There are many, many organizations partnering to offer free tax preparation that will work with you to determine if you are eligible for the EITC.  Now is the time to take advantage of those opportunities and volunteers.”

The EITC is a federal tax credit for low and moderate income workers. It was begun as an anti-poverty and work incentive program.  If a worker qualifies, the EITC will lower or eliminate taxes owed.

“I am hopeful this legislation will be considered in the near future, but am more hopeful that employers will voluntarily provide this information now to help make a positive difference in the lives of their hard-working employees and their families,” Fontana said

Four of five eligible people claim and get their EITC. Many people will qualify for EITC for the first time this year because their income declined, their marital status changed or they added children to their families.  In Allegheny County, the Money in Your Pocket Coalition will be hosting a free tax preparation campaign in the coming months.  Through their work, $23.8 million in tax refunds have been claimed for Pittsburghers, including $9.2 million in EITC.  For more information, visit www.pghfreetaxes.org.

For the 2011 Tax Year, the income limits and range of the EITC follow:

Number of

Qualifying Children

Household or Qualifying Income Must be Less Than For Married Filing Jointly, Income Must be Less Than Range of EITC
No Child $13,660 $18,740 $2 to $464
One Child $36,052 $41,132 $9 to $3,094
Two Children $40,964 $46,044 $10 to $5,112
Three + Children $43,998 $49,078 $11 to $5,751