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Free tax preparation clinic comes to Douglas County

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) was introduced in 1975. This credit encourages low-income individuals to work, while helping struggling families escape the hardships of poverty.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) was introduced in 1975. This credit encourages low-income individuals to work, while helping struggling families escape the hardships of poverty.

Approximately 4.4 million people a year are helped by this program, half of which are children. One of the single most successful tools in combating poverty is unfortunately underutilized by those who qualify.

According to IRS data, the average Douglas County EITC return in 2006 was $1,414. Yet 535 families eligible for the return did not file, leaving $755,882 unclaimed. That is $755,882 new dollars that could enter into the hands of those who need it most in this community.

Recognizing that one in four families fail to file and claim the EITC, United Way's Community Impact Coalition 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 $40,000 or less, links families with entitled rebates as well as connects them with any additional services they may be eligible to receive.

Tax preparation clinics will be held at the Marian Building, 700 Cedar Street, Alexandria. This service will be available Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., through the 2008 tax season.

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For more information on this service or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-492-4805, extension 100.

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