YDL Partners to Offer Free Tax Preparation

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, can make life a little easier for workers struggling to make ends meet in today’s tight economy—up to $5,600, or more, easier. Yet, IRS estimates one in four eligible taxpayers could miss out on this valuable tax credit because they don’t check it out.

Many people will qualify for EITC for the first time this year because their income declined, their marital status changed or they added children to their families. Families with three or more children also get an extra boost with a larger credit this year.

The mission of the Washtenaw County Asset Building Coalition, of which the Ypsilanti District Library is a member, is “to increase the financial stability of low to moderate income families by providing tax assistance and financial education.” The group partners with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to certify volunteers to prepare income taxes. The group also provides financial literacy to EITC recipients regarding ways to build personal assets with their refund.

The Washtenaw County Asset Building Coalition encourages anyone who earned $48,279 or less from wages, self-employment or farming in 2009 to see if they qualify. Eligible taxpayers can get their EITC only if they file federal income tax returns – even if they are not otherwise required to file – and specifically claim the credit.

Taxpayers can get free help determining their EITC eligibility and claiming the credit by calling Washtenaw County ETCS at (734) 544-3053. Help is available from IRS trained volunteers during the months of February and March. Eligible households can also have their state taxes prepared, and may qualify for state credits such as the Home Heating Credit and the Homestead Property Tax Credit.

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