Tonawanda News

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March 26, 2013

Students, United Way to offer free tax prep

Tonawanda News — A free tax preparation service offered by the United Way and Daemen College students now also has the backing of the Erie County Clerk. 

Called the CASH program, the students who are certified in basic and intermediate tax preparation will meet on April 3 at the Northtown Auto Bureau for the free session, according to Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs 

Jacobs said the measure will help working families and individuals file tax returns and navigate through the sometime confusing aspects of tax preparation including Earned Income Tax Credit. 

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

The primary goal of CASH, according to Jacobs, is to increase the stability of low-income families by opening access to tax credits and other benefit programs and improving financial literacy. 

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,” Jacobs said. “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. 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 also required. Taxpayers who wish to take advantage of this service or have further questions are asked to call  1-888-696-9211.

The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at  3095 Sheridan Drive in Amherst. 

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