Thousands of New Jersey’s working poor miss out on tax credit

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and first lady Mary Pat Christie serve a luncheon meal to a gathering at the Market Street Mission Wednesday last month in Morristown, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and first lady Mary Pat Christie serve a luncheon meal to a gathering at the Market Street Mission Wednesday last month in Morristown, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

As tax filing season gets under way, advocates are urging New Jersey residents to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

An estimated 280,000 low-income working families in New Jersey qualify for the tax break.

Ann Vardeman with New Jersey Citizen Action says a 50 percent increase in the amount they’re entitled to can help struggling families make ends meet.

“We’re talking about on average an extra $250 going into people’s pockets because of the increase. However, that does no one any good if you don’t access the credit.”

Tarry Truitt with the United Way of Mercer County says the credit helps low income families pay their bills.

“Many of these families work long, long hours for little amounts of money and this is an opportunity to help them. It’s a hand up for them to be able to be stable in their household and not become homeless.”

Residents can get help completing the required forms at volunteer income tax assistance centers.

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