CHICAGO, Jan. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today is national EITC Awareness Day. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return. This marks the 11th year the Internal Revenue Service will recognize EITC Awareness Day as a way to bring attention to this important tax credit. The EITC helps millions of hard-working families and individuals turn tax time into a financial opportunity to get ahead. 26 million American households, all of them working, currently claim an average annual credit of $2,482. In Illinois alone, last year 994,000 families and individuals claimed the EITC, generating $2.52 billion in refunds and an overall economic impact of $2.97 billion in purchases at local businesses.
The Center for Economic Progress (CEP) is one of over 12,000 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs across the country that the IRS relies on to help people file their taxes every year, completely free of charge to benefit from EITC and other refunds. "We are committed to improving the quality of life for families and communities by helping them to benefit from tax refunds and savings opportunities," said David Marzahl, the nonprofit's CEO. "CEP is proud to partner with IRS Free File to offer an additional no-cost tax preparation service that could help eligible taxpayers in our communities save money at tax time" he added. The Free File program provides taxpayers who made $64,000 or less last year with name-brand tax prep software products to prepare and securely file their federal return online at no cost.
Beyond saving time and money at tax time, this program helps to empower taxpayers to better understand their finances and take control of their financial lives. The software walks each user through the process, helping them to understand where their money is going, and make goals for the years ahead. Taxpayers are able to access the program by visiting www.economicprogress.org/freefile.
For anyone not comfortable preparing their return online, we can provide in-person assistance at sixteen sites throughout metro Chicago and in Springfield. Taxpayers can also access financial coaching and professional legal advice. "Life changes such as divorce, illness and incurring student loan debt can push people to the financial brink and make our work more important than ever," said Marzahl. For more information about Free File visit http://www.economicprogress.org/.
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SOURCE Center for Economic Progress