RIFuture: Earned Income Tax Credits benefit working families, if they ask…

By Steve Ahlquist

Rhode Island residents who make $54,000 a year or less may be entitled to an earned income tax credit as well as free tax preparation.

The Rhode Island Community Action Association (RICAA), Providence VITA Coalition, Citizens Bank, and the United Way of Rhode Island are partnering to launched a public awareness campaign  at the Rhode Island State House this morning to announce the campaign promoting free tax preparation.

The campaign will educate Rhode Islanders of the IRS’ Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program and its benefits to individuals and married couples who are hard-working Rhode Islanders receiving tax credits for wages earned both at the federal and state levels.

Rachel Flum, executive director of the Economic Progress Institute spoke representing a coalition of 30 groups dedicated to increasing the state EITC to 20 percent, of the federal rate, up from its current 15 percent. Bills introduced by Rep Scott Slater in the House and Senator Gayle Goldin in the Senate aim to do just that. The rate is 27.5 percent in Connecticut and 23 percent in Massachusetts, “so we know that there is room to move,” said Flum. Combined with an increase in the minimum wage “this could really be a catalyst helping our lower income families.”