KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This year, more than one-third of not-required-to-file taxpayers who come to H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) for help getting their Economic Stimulus Plan rebates take home an additional $1,500 refund.
Starting in May, an estimated 130 million Americans will receive rebates of $300, $600 or $1,200, but only if they file a federal tax return. About 22 million of those Americans aren't typically obligated to file, but when they do, they're often eligible for a refund by tapping into a host of tax credits. Americans who aren't required to file are people who paid no income taxes but earned at least $3,000, including Social Security, railroad retirement and disabled veterans' benefits.
"Every day our tax professionals help clients - including those who aren't typically required to file - claim tax credits they didn't know they could get," said Amy McAnarney, executive director of The Tax Institute of H&R Block. "This year, one-third of our clients who aren't typically required to file but are doing so to get the rebate are taking home an additional $1,500 refund."
Two tax credits commonly available to Americans who aren't required to file a tax return are:
The Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC. An estimated $1.5 billion in EITC benefits went unclaimed in 2007, and the IRS reports 20 percent of taxpayers who qualify don't claim the credit. H&R Block helped more than 4.5 million taxpayers claim $10 billion in EITC benefits last year, accounting for nearly a quarter of all claims.
The Child Tax Credit. A majority of taxpayers are misinformed about this benefit, according to an H&R Block survey. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they didn't know how much the Child Tax Credit was worth, and only 22 percent were able to identify it correctly as $1,000 per child.
Because the Earned Income and Child Tax credits are refundable, which means they can reduce a person's tax liability below $0, the benefits also are a source of income in cases where a person isn't required to file a tax return.
For more information about the tax implications of the economic stimulus package, call the H&R Block media desk at 816-854-4287, or visit the Economic Stimulus Plan Information Center at H&R Block's online discussion community, Digits(SM), at www.digits.hrblock.com.
H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's preeminent tax services provider, having served more than 400 million clients since 1955 and generating annual revenues of $4 billion in fiscal year 2007. H&R Block provides income tax return preparation and related services and products via a nationwide network of approximately 13,000 company-owned and franchised offices and through TaxCut(R) online and software solutions. The company also provides business services through RSM McGladrey and certain consumer financial services. For more information visit our Online Press Center at www.hrblock.com.
SOURCE: H&R Block Inc.