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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

Contact: Allen Spelce
R.J. DeSilva
(512) 463-4070

For Immediate Release
January 23, 2008

Comptroller Urges Texans to Claim Federal Tax Breaks


AUSTIN —As federal tax filing season gears up, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reminds Texans that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) puts billions of dollars in income tax refunds into families’ pockets and the Texas economy.

“If you work and your family made less than $39,783 in 2007, the federal government may owe you a refund on your income tax,” Combs said. “Last year, more than 2 million Texans claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit and received almost $4.7 billion in EITC refunds – an average of $2,151 per qualifying household.”

EITC refunds are based on family income and the number of children in the family. To receive the credit, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires families to meet specific eligibility requirements and have a valid Social Security number for each family member.

Taxpayers who expect to qualify for the EITC and have at least one qualifying child can sign up for the Advance Earned Income Tax Credit at work and receive part of the credit in each paycheck, instead of waiting for a tax refund.

More information about how to qualify for the EITC, along with helpful links to IRS tax forms and publications, can be found on the Comptroller’s Web site, www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/eitc/, or by calling the IRS at (800) 829-1040.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit gives Texas families extra spending power and puts billions of dollars to work in the Texas economy, so I urge Texans to find out whether they qualify and to claim the EITC,” Combs said.

Combs also reminds Texans that taxpayers who itemize deductions on their federal income tax can claim a deduction for state and local sales taxes they paid in 2007.

This may be the last time the sales tax deduction is available, unless the U.S. Congress votes to continue the tax break. The provision is aimed at Texas and six other states without state income taxes that residents can deduct from their federal tax. Combs is working with the Texas congressional delegation to make the sales tax deduction permanent. The Comptroller says continuing the deduction for 2008 and beyond would save Texans a projected $1.2 billion a year, or an average of $520 per filer claiming the deduction.

“Both the Earned Income Tax Credit and the sales tax deduction keep hard-working Texans’ money here in Texas,” Combs said.

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