Senator Lucio's Letterhead

PRESS RELEASE FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2007
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

TEXANS FORFEIT $1.2 BILLION IN TAX CREDITS EVERY YEAR
SEN. LUCIO ENCOURAGES USE OF EARNED INCOME TAX CREDITS WEB SITE

AUSTIN, TX -- Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. is encouraging the people of South Texas to take advantage of a new, free tax preparation website for working families that will allow them to file electronically for the estimated $1.2 billion in potential tax credits Texans leave every year in the hands of the federal government.

"Our hard-working families are not filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) because they aren't aware that they are eligible for this refund," said Sen. Lucio. "This website is not only very user-friendly, featuring a complete tutorial, but it can also be accessed in Spanish."

The website is sponsored by the Texas Legal Services Center and directs users to a free, separate website that can automatically calculate all potential tax credits, including the EITC, and file them via a second website, www.icanefile.org, also free of charge.

"I support this special project of the Texas Legal Services Center so that residents of my district with limited income can now file their taxes quickly, securely and without having to pay a cent to a professional tax preparer," noted Sen. Lucio. "I urge people to contact their libraries to see if they can use their computers for this."

Who Qualifies for the EITC?
For the 2006 tax year, qualified individuals, families, and the potential amounts of EITC refund are as follows:

NUMBER OF QUALIFYING CHILDRENINCOME-SINGLEINCOME-MARRIEDMAXIMUM EITC AMOUNT
2 or more$36,348$38,348$4,536
1$32,001$34,001$2,747
0$12,120$14,120$412

How does I-CAN!™ E-File Work?
The Texas Legal Services Center site, www.texaslawhelp.org, has a banner link that leads to a secure tax preparation site that is also supported by TLSC: www.icanefile.org. This site is built around a user-friendly interface that asks the taxpayer straightforward questions to determine the appropriate forms to file.

What is the EITC?
The EITC is a tax credit for working individuals and families whose yearly net earnings are not enough to be removed from low-income status. One of the most important federal anti-poverty programs, the EITC, allowed for refunds of over $4 billion to low-income working families in Texas in 2003. However, an estimated $1.2 billion in EITC money went unclaimed in Texas alone that same year. The I-CAN!™ E-File website automatically claims the EITC for eligible filers, and thereby makes this potential financial advantage a reality for working Texas families.

"Hundreds of thousands of people who could be significantly helped by the EITC don't know about it, and they pay high fees to tax preparation services, emphasized Randall Chapman, Executive Director of the Texas Legal Services Center. "The www.icanefile.org site makes filing and claiming the EITC easy, and so our job is to get the word out to as many people as we can."

"I am very pleased to support the work of the Texas Legal Services Center in providing this resource at no charge to all the working families in my district," added Sen. Lucio. "I am encouraging our media outlets to inform the public as widely as possible about the EITC."

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