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Sunday, January 9, 2005

Child Care Resource Center Offers Tax Preparation Assistance

SALISBURY, MD---The Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center at Salisbury University has launched an effort to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and to provide free tax preparation for low- and moderate-income families.   The center is recruiting volunteers to be trained to prepare simple federal and state tax returns, many of which will include the EIC. 

In 2001 (the most recent year for which final numbers are available), the federal EIC supplemented the income of 312,451 low-income households in Maryland by some $5 million. Yet, the General Accounting Office estimates that 15-25 percent of eligible taxpayers fail to claim the EIC each year.

The EITC is a refundable federal and state tax credit for full-time, part-time or temporary workers, worth up to $4,961, depending on income and family size.  Workers with income less than $34,692 may be eligible for the credit, depending on household size. 

The Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center is trying to help families keep their entire tax refund instead of paying part of it for commercial tax preparation. The center is asking local businesses, community groups, churches, schools, and other points of contact for eligible workers to help spread the word about the EIC and free tax preparation services and to help recruit volunteers. 

There is no cost for the tax training and no previous experience is necessary, though volunteers must be computer literate. Training takes place eight hours in January and volunteers are asked to assist with tax preparation Wednesday, January 19-Friday, April 15.

Individuals interested in training to be volunteer tax preparers and organizations that can help recruit volunteers may call Crystal Lambert at the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center. To volunteer or to schedule an appointment for free tax preparation services call 410-548-3007. The Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center is working in conjunction with the Maryland EIC Campaign and is a member of the Maryland Child Care Resource Network. Information about these efforts may be found at www.mdchildcare.org/eic and www.mdchildcare.org. The new outreach effort is funded by Pepco Holdings Inc. and Conectiv Power Delivery. "


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