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Friday, March 22, 2013

Free Tax Preparation Offers Valuable Service to Residents

Erie County, NY – Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs will host FREE tax preparation assistance to help working families and individuals filing tax returns, claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax credits, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the Northtown Auto Bureau, 3095 Sheridan Drive, in Amherst.

“The time to begin filing tax returns is now, taxpayers should not wait until the last minute.” said County Clerk Jacobs. “I am pleased to take part in offering this essential service and assist taxpayers file accurate state and federal tax returns to ensure they receive the necessary deductions and Earned Income Tax Credit.”

The tax prep service is offered by the CASH Program, an initiative of the United Way, along with student volunteers from Daemen College, all of which are certified basic and intermediate tax preparers. The primary goal of CASH is to increase the stability of low-income families by increasing access to tax credits and other benefit programs; improving financial literacy, and providing opportunities for affordable housing and other asset development.

Taxpayers are eligible for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, if: the maximum household income is $51,000, and applicants qualify to use 1040 EZ, 1040A or 1040 forms. “The EITC can contribute a substantial amount of money to families who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Erie County Clerk Jacobs. “The total amount of EITC could be as much as $5,891, depending on the size of the family.”

Persons requesting the assistance must bring a picture ID, W-2 forms and other income records, and records or receipts for expenses such as child care and/or education.  They must also provide social security cards or ITIN letters for all family members and a copy of last year’s tax return, if possible. A complete list of the documents and information required can be found at www.erie.gov/taxprep.

In order to provide prompt assistance, appointments are required. Taxpayers who wish to take advantage of this service or have further questions are asked to call 2-1-1 or