Free tax preparation clinic returns to Douglas CountyRecognizing that one in four eligible families fail to file for tax benefits they are entitled to receive, United Way’s Community Impact Coalition has partnered with West Central Minnesota Community Action to offer free tax preparation clinics. The service is available for families earning $45,000 or less.
Seen as one of the single most successful tools in combating poverty, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is unfortunately underutilized by those who qualify, according to local United Way leaders.
The credit, established in 1975, encourages low-income individuals to work, while helping struggling families escape the hardships of poverty.
Recognizing that one in four eligible families fail to file and claim the EITC, United Way’s Community Impact Coalition has partnered with West Central Minnesota Community Action to assist low income individuals and families by offering an additional free tax preparation clinic.
This service, available for families earning $45,000 or less, links families with entitled rebates as well as connects them with services they may be eligible to receive.
The extra dollars eligible taxpayers can get through the EITC and other tax credits can make life a little easier for low to moderate income households. All they need to do is file a tax return, even if they aren’t required to file, and claim the credit to receive it, noted United Way leaders.
People need to remember that some individuals and families may qualify for the credit for the first time because of unemployment or other changes in their financial, marital or parental status during the past year.
Tax Preparation Clinics are held at the Marion Building, 700 Cedar Street, Alexandria. This service is available Mondays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through the filing deadline in April.
For more information on this service or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-492-4805 extension 100.
Community Impact Coalition actively works to address complex social issues and implement solutions to help local individuals struggling to meet their basic needs.
The group meets monthly in Douglas County. If you would like to know more about the work being done locally by the Community Impact Coalition, contact Jessica Boyer, United Way Community Impact Director, at (320) 763-4840.
Additional federal tax credits available to many low to moderate income households include:
• Child Tax Credit ($1,000 credit per child under age 17).
• Child and Dependent Care Credit (for workers paying a caregiver for a child or disabled child or adult).
• Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Credit (offsets post secondary education costs).
• Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (credit up to 50 percent of maximum $2,000 retirement contribution).
Additional state credits for many low to moderate income households:
• The Minnesota Working Family Credit is available to filers who qualify for the federal EITC and matches about a third of the EITC for most qualified filers.
• Child and Dependent Care Credit (similar to the federal credit).
• K-12 Education Credit (aids certain youth education costs up to $1,000 per child).
• Property Tax Refund (for both homeowners and renters).