Mid-South missing out on millions of dollars each year - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South missing out on millions of dollars each year

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Assistant professor Dr. Elena Delavega spent months compiling research for the department of social work at the University of Memphis. Assistant professor Dr. Elena Delavega spent months compiling research for the department of social work at the University of Memphis.

(WMC-TV) - More than $70 million earned every year is not coming to Memphis and Shelby County, even though that money belongs to Memphians.

New research shows the neighborhoods that are missing out on the most money are the ones that need it the most.

Assistant professor Dr. Elena Delavega spent months compiling research for the department of social work at the University of Memphis.

She discovered millions of dollars are not coming to Memphis and Shelby County because people are not filling out the right forms to get the earned income tax credit.

"This could help us become a much more attractive city for business and for tourism," said Delavega. "People are not claiming the earned income tax credit that are eligible for claim it, and that results in a net loss to Memphis of anywhere between $30 and $70 million."

If you are 25 to 64 and can show proof of income, then you are eligible for earned income tax credit.

According to the U of M research, almost every zip code in Shelby County has households who do not get the earned income credit.

The worst zip code is 38126 in South Memphis. More than 67 percent of households are eligible but do not receive it.

"Given the high percentage of single mothers in that neighborhood, that is a lot of money. Each could receive more than $5,000 dollars a year," said Delavega.

To get the earned income tax credit, you must file a tax return and file a special earned income tax credit form. Experts recommend doing all of it properly and go to a trusted tax preparer.

"United Way or another other social service agency that helps people," said Delavega offering advice. "Not getting it is really a disservice to, not only you as an individual, but also to our community in part because what it could do for our community."

The Mid-South is missing out on millions of dollars each year that you earned – through the earned income tax credit.

Remember how to spot someone trying to scam you, and avoid anyone asking you to pay up front. Find more information on the IRS website here.

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