Local tax counseling site available through April 14

1,146 tax returns completed last year

The tax assistance site is at Northwest Community Center, 1325 N. Johnston Ave.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey and representatives of the Tax Counseling Project of the Chicago-based Center for Economic Progress recently announced the opening of a free income tax preparation site in Rockford.

The tax assistance site is at Northwest Community Center, 1325 N. Johnston Ave., and is open Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tax assistance will be offered through April 14.

The tax site is part of the campaign to encourage low- and middle-income workers to file income tax returns early and apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The program is sponsored locally by the Rockford Tax Outreach Program, a partnership of government, business and community leaders formed to publicize the EITC and provide tax assistance to eligible working people.

Morrissey said: “Not everybody who is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit knows about it and uses it. This tax site is a great opportunity for working people to increase the refund check they receive from the government.”

David Marzahl, executive director of the Center for Economic Progress, added: “We are proud that this will be our 10th year providing free tax services in Rockford. By helping taxpayers keep all of their hard-earned money, we’re boosting the local economy and bringing federal and state dollars to working families in Winnebago County.”

Harry Fitzsimmons, IRS Senior Tax Specialist, said: “We’re excited about the services offered to Rockford residents at the Northwest Community Center tax assistance site. Those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit can get help claiming this valuable credit while preparing their tax returns.”

The EITC, created in 1975, is designed for families with income less than $40,000 and individuals with no children and income less than $15,000. A year ago, 1,146 tax returns were completed by volunteers working at the tax counseling site in Rockford, bringing back in excess of $1.5 million in tax refunds to area residents.

In addition to tax volunteers, representatives from Rockford-area banks will be on hand at the Northwest Community Center to help tax filers open checking and savings accounts so their refunds can be directly deposited by IRS. Among the banks taking part in the program are AMCORE Bank, Associated Bank, National City Bank, Riverside Community Bank, Union Savings Bank and US Bank.

For more information about the Earned Income Tax Credit, call the IRS toll free at 1-800-829-1040. For more information about the Tax Counseling Project, call 1-312-252-0280.

From the Feb. 28-March 6, 2007, issue

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