EITC begins tax prep program Saturday

CHENANGO COUNTY – Last year, an estimated $2 million in earned income and other tax credits went unclaimed in Chenango County, and the Earned Income Tax Credit Partnership Committee is working to whittle that figure down, one tax refund at a time.

On Saturday, the EITC Committee will begin tax preparation for 2008, with a kick-off event from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension, located at 99 N. Broad St. in Norwich.

The EITC Partnership Committee’s volunteer income tax assistance program provides free tax preparation at sites throughout Chenango County for those who qualify. Any individual with a household income of $37,783 may qualify for the free tax service, depending on the number of dependent children in the home. Tax preparation can include electronic filing and direct deposit at no additional cost.

Gary Quarella, of Opportunities for Chenango explained that the volunteer tax preparers receive extensive training before they get into actual tax preparation. “The IRS actually comes to Chenango County and gives training and technical assistance,” Quarella said. In addition, Quarella explained, the IRS has an online training program called “Link and Learn Taxes.” Each volunteer goes through the training and then must test out to determine what level of tax preparation they are capable to perform. “When we see a customer who has a tax question above what our volunteers can handle, we talk to them about their other options,” Quarella said.

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