A Growing Number of Philadelphians Applying for EITC

For Immediate Release: April 03, 2017
Published By: Office of the Mayor
Contact: Mike Dunn, (215) 686-6210, mike.dunn@phila.gov
Growing Number of Philadelphians Applying for Federal Earned Income Tax Credit

PHILADELPHIA- With only about two weeks to go before the tax filing deadline, new data suggests that a growing number of Philadelphians are taking advantage of the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

The data from the IRS shows that 8,700 additional Philadelphians received the tax credit in the Spring of 2015 compared to the previous year (note that this is the most recent IRS data available). With an average refund of $2,522, this meant an additional $22 million going into the pockets of Philadelphians.

“We’re trying to educate and empower as many eligible residents as possible to apply for the EITC. But what we are accomplishing today is rooted in the groundwork started in 2014,” said Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin. “This success is due to leaders such as City Council President Darrell Clarke, who championed the Income Inequality Initiative and set the wheels in motion, as well as City Councilman Alan Domb, who continues to be a tireless advocate for our efforts.”

The City continues to urge eligible residents to apply for the EITC before the April 18, 2017 deadline. The Department’s 2017 “You Earned It” program includes free tax preparation services by IRS-certified preparers, available at 20 locations throughout Philadelphia for taxpayers earning less than $54,000, as well as a comprehensive educational campaign.

“There is no better mechanism than the Earned Income Tax Credit for helping to lift lower income individuals and working families out of poverty,” said Councilman Domb. “With the highest poverty rate of any major city, we must continue to promote awareness and provide tax assistance resources until every eligible Philadelphian receives the money they have earned. As we continue building upon our existing foundation of awareness, understanding and partnership, I look forward to working diligently with my colleagues on City Council, the Administration and all our non-profit partners to ensure all eligible Philadelphians apply and receive the Earned Income Tax Credit.”

To implement this vital component of the campaign, the City has partnered with the Campaign for Working Families, a non-profit organization committed to helping working families and individuals achieve economic empowerment, as well as PathwaysPA, one of the Greater Philadelphia Region’s foremost providers of residential and community-based services for women, children and families.

To qualify residents must:

Not exceed earned income and meet income limits
Be between the ages of 25-65 OR have a qualifying dependent
Have been a U.S. citizen or resident alien during the entire calendar year of 2016
Have a valid Social Security number
The average Federal EITC refund amount available in Philadelphia is $2,500, with maximum benefits range from $506 to $6,269. Eligible taxpayers can also still file or amend returns for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 EITC if they haven’t already.

In 2016, more than 17,000 tax returns were prepared for free at City-sponsored sites. This was an increase of 12,000 compared to the 5,000 returns in Tax Year 2014.

Residents can text FILE to 99000 or visit http://www.YouEarnedItPhilly.com to get more information on the EITC and a list of locations offering tax preparation services through the City’s program.