Listed below are some great programs that are often underutilized by many of the individuals and families we speak with in the Housing Resource Center. These programs provide credit, funds or assistance to the eligible household to either financial helps or to improve the living conditions of the home.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
This is a refundable credit that can be returned to the taxpayer, even if there was no tax liability. This means even if the tax payer did not earn enough money to normally file a tax return they may still be eligible to receive the credit.
To receive this tax credit one must have earned income from employment, not be filing separately even though they are married, and not be a qualifying dependent of another person.
The EITC is for people that have very low incomes and will give those people a percentage of their earned income back, up to 34% of their income for one qualifying child and up to 40% for two or more qualifying children. Even people with very low incomes with no qualifying children can get EITC at 7.65% of their earned income. The below information is for the tax year of 2008. The maximum an EITC is:
- $2,917 for one qualifying child
- $4,824 for two or more qualifying children
- $438 if you have no qualifying children
The above tax credits are maximums and the EITC are reduced as one’s wages increase. Below are the income levels where the EITC began to be reduced:
- $15,740 a year for one qualifying child
- $15,740 a year for two Qualifying Children
- $7,160 a year for no qualifying children
This credit will be completed eliminated when individuals incomes reach the following levels:
- $33,995 for one qualifying child
- $38,648 for two qualifying children
- $12,880 for no qualifying children
Listed below are two agencies that can assist individuals and families in pursuing these funds:
Accounting Aid Society
Detroit MI 48202
Internal Revenue Service
477 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
Home Heating Credit
This program offers financial assistance to Michigan residents with low or very low incomes to pay for their home heating costs. Eligible applicants can get $200 or more for their winter energy bills through this program. People that do not submit state tax returns can also get this tax credit. This credit is for all types of heating; propane, electricity, fuel oil, and even purchased fire wood. If the heat is included in the rent a person could be eligible to receive a rebate check. People that pay the gas company directly get an energy draft (basically a coupon that they can submit in place of money toward the next bill). Recently, people report that Michigan has been sending the money directly to the gas companies and giving people credits on their energy bills.
Applications for this Home Heating Credit must be submitted before September 30 of each year. The form is called the Home Heating Credit (MI-1040CR-7) and can be found at most public libraries, Secretary of State, the Department of Human Services or by calling Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. To find out the income limits go to Consumers Energy’s Energy Answers section on its website: http://www.consumersenergy.com or call the Accounting Aid Society at 313-647-9620 or go to http://www.accountingaidsociety.org/pages/index.cfm.
TAX HELP. Volunteer Income Tax
Assistance Sites offer free tax preparation to individuals with low to moderate incomes call 1-800-829-1040.
Weatherization Assistance Program
This program is for household incomes below 150% of the poverty level.
In 2008, this meant annual incomes less the $15,000 annually for single persons and $17,000 annually for couples. People that receive benefits from Family Independence Agency, Supplemental Security Income and State Disability Assistance are automatically eligible. The repairs and updates are for specific aspects of the home to reduce energy bills. These repairs include things like new insulation, new furnaces and new windows. Call Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency 248-209-2777 for more information.
Safer Homes for Children
This program is to educate and improve the safety of homes that children live in. It will provide case management, energy efficiency upgrades, and health and safety upgrades to homes with children under the age of 12 months old or for a pregnant woman in her 3rd trimester. This program is for household incomes below 150% of the poverty level. In 2008, this meant less then $15,000 annually for single person, and less than $17,000 annually for a couple. For more information and to apply for this program call Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency at 248-209-2692.