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|IRS, United Way partner to help taxpayers|
Northeast Louisiana's largest free tax assistance program kicked off Tuesday with an announcement by the United Way of Northeast Louisiana in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service.
The program is called, "Earn it! Keep it! Save it."
It will provide free tax return preparation, e-filing services and assistance with filing tax credit claims to northeast Louisiana households that earned less than $39,783 in 2007.
Friday, Jan. 11, is "National EITC Day," which is being promoted nationwide by the IRS and community agencies to raise awareness of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC raises more than 2.5 million children above the poverty line each year, or more than any other federal program.
"With millions of dollars in federal Earned Income Tax Credits available for northeast Louisiana alone, United Way and the ABC Coalition of Northeast Louisiana are focused on getting these substantial tax refunds back into the pockets of our region's hardworking families and back into our local economy," said Janet S. Durden, president of the United Way of Northeast Louisiana.
"We'll bring together more than 100 community partners to help these families claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, as well as connect them to community resources and financial services that can increase their ability to save for the future," Durden said.
Jan Pretus, a tax consultant manager for Louisiana and Arkansas, added, "Significant progress has been made coordinating efforts to help citizens in this area of the state learn more about important tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and increasing opportunities for citizens to take advantage of free tax preparation services."
"The ABC Coalition of Northeast Louisiana is definitely ahead of the curve that we normally see in first year initiatives of this nature," Pretus said.
Tax sites in the area also will offer residents the option of splitting up their refunds for direct deposit in up to three bank accounts. The split refund is intended to encourage tax payers to allocate a portion of their return to a savings account instead of spending it as disposable income.
The program will serve residents in the 12-parish region of northeast Louisiana. For more information, call 2-1-1.
People will be asked to bring a picture ID; Social Security cards for all family members (or ITIN for each working adult; W-2 forms for all jobs; 1099 forms and other income forms; bank routing and account numbers for checking and savings accounts; childcare provider information; previous year's tax return if available; and name, address and phone number of landlord (if you have one).