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Earned Income Tax Credit: It's not just for families with children
Did You Know?
FTC cautions consumers about tax and rebate scams
Payday lenders and the law
|Earned Income Tax Credit: It's
not just for families with children
Workers with low wages who do not have a child might be able to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Childless workers with low income are believed to be the largest number of taxpayers who do not claim the credit.
If you are 25 years old but under age 65 at the end of the year and had low wages or other earned income, you may be able to claim the credit. If you are married, either you or your husband or wife must be 25 but under 65 at the end of the year. Also, you may be able to claim the credit for the last few years.
You can find out if you are eligible for the EITC by answering a few questions and providing basic income information using the IRS online EITC Assistant Web tool. It’s available in English and Spanish.
In short, to qualify for EITC, you must meet the following rules:
If neither you nor your spouse meets the income test, you cannot claim the EITC. You should write “No” next to line 66a (Form 1040), line 40a (Form 1040A) or line 8a (Form 1040EZ) when you prepare your return.
Why not check now to see if you are eligible? Access the EITC Assistant here.
|Did You Know?
by the Payment of Wages Act…
Changes to these terms must be in writing at least seven calendar days before they become effective.
Employers must pay employees all wages due each pay period.Employers must also give employees an itemized statement showing gross pay and all deductions made each pay period.
Employers who violate the Payment of Wages Act are subject to a civil penalty of $100 for each violation. Employees can recover up to three times the full amount of unpaid wages, costs and attorney’s fees in a civil action.
To report a suspected violation, for recordkeeping or other questions involving the Payment of Wages Act, or to order a copy of the Payment of Wages Act, please contact the Office of Wages and Child Labor at the address and number listed below.
For details involving child labor provisions, please contact the Office of Wages and Child Labor at the address and number listed below.
S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
|FTC cautions consumers about tax and rebate
The Federal Trade Commission is cautioning consumers looking forward to rebate checks from the government that they may be targets of scammers out to steal their identity. The agency has issued an alert to help consumers avoid this situation.
The schemes work like this: consumers get a call or an e-mail claiming to be from the IRS, the Social Security Administration or some other government agency and claiming to need some bit of personal information to process the rebate check. Consumers may be asked to provide their social security number, bank account number or another piece of personal information that a skillful crook can use to commit identity theft. E-mails often include a link for a consumer to click, which may take the consumer to an official looking—but phony—Web site that is simply phishing for the consumer’s information. Or, the link may take the consumer to a legitimate site but install spyware or some other form of malware on the way.
Neither the IRS nor the SSA collects information about government rebate
qualifications by telephone or e-mail. The FTC urges consumers who are
contacted by phone or e-mail not to provide any personal information
and to report the contact to the IRS at email@example.com or the SSA at
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, click here.
The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. For free information on a variety of consumer topics, click here.
|Payday lenders and the law
As of January 2007, American consumer debt is more than a trillion dollars. More than half of all cardholders don’t pay off their cards each month and carry an average balance of approximately $2000.* 19 Jan. 2007. Faced with this kind of debt, many South Carolinians might begin a series of bad choices thinking this will help them financially. One decision you might want to rethink is getting a loan from a title or payday lender.
Payday lenders are companies that advance money to you for a fee—usually 15 percent—when you write them a personal check. In return, they will promise not to cash your check for up to 31 days. Even though South Carolina has passed legislation that regulates much of the activity of payday lenders, many consumers aren’t discovering the financial dangers of entering into payday loans until it is too late.
* Hoffman, Lee; Adriano, Joneil; Horning, Jessica.“Digging out of Debt”
The following are some frequently asked questions and answers about payday lenders.
Who are payday lenders?
Say I do need $100. Can they ask me to write a check for $150?
How much money can a payday lender give me?
Can the payday lender have me arrested if my check doesn’t
Are there other rules about what payday lenders can and can’t
Can payday lenders do regular check-cashing services too?
How much can they charge me to just cash a check right then?
If I write a check to a payday lender, when will they cash it?
If I still don’t have the money to cover the check, can
I stop the payday lender from depositing my check by paying them a
Can I just write them another check that they promise not to
cash to pay for the first check?
This brochure is for information only. If you have problems with a payday lender or check casher, you may want to contact your local legal services program by calling the Legal Aid Telephone Intake Service for a referral at 744-9430 in Columbia or toll free (888) 346-5592 from other places in the state.
If you are finding yourself in trouble with debt, you may also contact your local United Way for the name and number of the consumer credit counseling agency in your area. They may be able to assist you with working out a payment plan with your creditors.
This brochure was produced by the editorial staff of the 2001-2002 South Carolina Law Review and the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center with funds provided by the South Carolina Bar Foundation’s Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA).
South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center is dedicated to advocacy for low income people in South Carolina to effect systemic change by acting in and through the courts, legislature, administrative agencies, community and the media, and helping others do the same through education, training and co-counseling.
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