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Michigan's tax credit expansion: big refunds for working families

 Michigan quintuples working families tax credit.
Flickr/401(k) 2012 Taxes
Michigan quintuples working families tax credit

The Michigan Department of Treasury is issuing a call to action to remind working families that they can claim significant tax benefits due to the state's expanded earned income tax credit.

Legislation passed last year and effective this February expanded the tax credit from 6% to 30%. This change means that around 700,000 working families could potentially receive an average combined federal and state refund of over $3,000.

Ron Leix, Michigan Department of Treasury's deputy public information officer, said the key that unlocks this tax credit is filing the federal tax return.

"Even if no tax is owed or there's no requirement to file a return ... these tax credits could turn into a refund," Leix explained.

The tax credit amount depends on various factors such as income, filing status, and the number of dependents in a family.

Leix also advised working families to seek assistance to determine their eligibility for the tax credit.

"We're asking that if somebody thinks they're eligible, that they please seek out a reputable tax preparer. There's a lot of free tax help out there that can help individuals. That includes those who are low income, they have disabilities, or just older in life," Leix said.

This expansion aims to alleviate financial burdens and provide additional support to Michigan families. The credits can significantly impact families by potentially adding more money to their pockets, which could be crucial for supporting their children and managing daily expenses.

According to Leix, through March, the treasury department had issued more than 464,000 individuals with earned income tax credits worth a total of $423 million. That's an average of almost a thousand dollars additionally that they may not have had in previous years.

Individuals can find local free and trained tax preparers by dialing 211 on their phone or visiting michiganfreetaxhelp.org for guidance.

Zena is a senior at the University of Michigan with aspirations of becoming a broadcast journalist. She is interning in the Michigan Public newsroom.
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