Monday, February 1, 2010


DENVER - Gov. Bill Ritter joined The Piton Foundation to kick off the 2010 tax filing season by encouraging Colorado taxpayers to take advantage of federal tax credits and free filing options on National EITC Awareness Day, Jan. 29. Campaign organizers estimate that up to 50,000 Colorado families are losing as much as $85 million a year by failing to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

"This tax credit is designed to help our child-care workers, nursing and teaching assistants, retail clerks and restaurant workers," said Gov. Ritter. "Working families, especially those hit hard by these challenging economic times, can get a financial boost through the Earned Income Tax Credit. However, qualifying tax payers must specifically claim the credit in order to receive it."

According to The Piton Foundation, which sponsors an annual statewide campaign to create greater awareness of tax credits for lower-wage workers, 268,000 Colorado families received more than $470,000 million in EITC refunds in tax year 2006, the most current statistics provided by the IRS. Estimates are that 15-20 percent of eligible taxpayers are not receiving the credit.

"We are determined to make everyone in Colorado aware of this program, and to provide them with information on where to get free help in filing their tax return in order to get the credit," said Diane DiGiacomo of The Piton Foundation.

The maximum income to qualify for the EITC this year ranges from $13,400 for a single person to $35,000 for a single parent with one child and $48,000 for a couple with three or more children. The average
EITC refund in Colorado is about $1,700 but can be as much as $5,600 for very low-income workers with children.

The Piton Foundation has put together a partnership of government, businesses and not-for-profit organizations to publicize the tax credits. The program is publicized in direct mailings to public benefit
recipients, including the unemployed, through churches, schools, and food banks, and through advertising on television and in newspapers.

Coloradans can learn more about the program by dialing 2-1-1, the state's health and human services hotline, or by going to The Piton Foundation's web site,

The 2-1-1 hotline also has information about sites across the state where families with income under $49,000 can get their taxes prepared and electronically filed for free by trained preparers.

For example, The Piton Foundation partners with Colorado colleges to offer free tax assistance at nine community and four-year colleges across the state.

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