Many lower income people still don't realize they're missing out on a big bonus check during tax season if they ignore the Earned Income Tax Credit.
It's estimated that Detroiters leave $54 million in unclaimed federal tax credits for earned income on the table each year when they don't file returns and claim the credit.
The earned income tax credit is designed to help low to moderate working households.
For 2017 tax returns, the maximum adjusted gross income limit for claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit is $48,340 if you're single and have three or more qualifying children to claim and $53,930 for a married couple filing jointly.
The limits are lower for those with fewer or no children. For those with no children, for example, the income limit drops to $15,010 for single, head of household and surviving spouse filers and $20,600 for married filing jointly.
The corresponding maximum tax credits range from $510 with no qualifying children to $6,318 with three or more qualifying children.
Another EITC tip: Be sure you have all your Forms W-2, W-2G, 1099 MISC, and all other income records, even if not reported on a form, before your file your return. And, you need to report all income you earn from running or owning a business or farm and deduct all allowable expenses.
3. Where can you find free tax help?
Families and individuals with incomes up to $54,000 are eligible for free help with filling out their tax returns from the Accounting Aid Society in metro Detroit. Assistance is available in filing federal, state, and local tax returns. See www.accountingaidsociety.org.
The Accounting Aid Society has various locations and times for free help. Some sites offer a "Drop and Go" option where you can drop off your tax information and pick up a completed return later. Appointments may be necessary in some locations.