Monday, January 14, 2008


Wake County EITC Coalition Formed-Carolina Newswire- Please contact Lorraine McCurdy or 834-9300 for information on how you can get involved in Wake County’s EITC Coalition.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Are you thinking about your 2007 taxes yet? It may seem a bit early, but not for the newly formed Wake County Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition.

Members of several nonprofit agencies, including the Family Resource Center of Raleigh, Fiscal Progress, Passage Home, AARP, and Triangle United Way, have partnered with Wake County Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service to form the Wake County EITC Coalition. The purpose of the Coalition is to:
--Increase the awareness of EITC to Wake County Families--Increase the number of tax clients taking advantage of free tax preparation sites
--Increase the number of volunteers who can provide free tax assistance to eligible tax payers.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal aid program targeting low and moderate-income workers. It reduces the tax burden on lower income workers, supplements their wages, and encourages greater participation in the workforce. It has the possibility of increasing the income of a working family by 10-15 percent.

According to Lorraine McCurdy with the Family Resource Center in Raleigh, “Consumers can take this opportunity to find out now if they are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. They can also locate a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site in their community to prepare their income tax return for free to avoid the high cost of commercial preparers and Refund Anticipation Loans.” In Wake County, IRS data indicate that for tax year 2005 over $80 million came back into the Wake County economy through the EITC. This makes the average tax refund available to low income and working families who qualify for the EITC equal to $1,837.

Right now is the time to train to be a volunteer to help in this county-wide effort to generate support for low-income working families. McCurdy says, "There is a great need for volunteer tax preparers in Wake County. Training takes place throughout the community during November and December."Volunteers receive a great deal of training and those who come to the VITA sites are appreciative of the work volunteers do. Steve Fear from Chapel Hill has used VITA sites sponsored by Fiscal Progress and says, "I appreciate the knowledge and skill of the volunteers. Art has helped me with my tax return the past two years. I’ll see him next year!"
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