Submitted by WVU Extension Service-Calhoun Office

Are you, a relative or a close friend about to "lose" up to $4,400?

You - or someone you care about could be among the more than 200,000 West Virginians who could share millions of dollars this year through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

To receive the tax credit, you must file a tax return by April 15 —even if you don't owe any taxes.

People who earned a low or moderate income in 2005 may be eligible for substantial tax benefits when they file tax returns this year.

  For example, families who have two or more children and earned less than $35,263 in 2005 may be eligible for a credit of up to $4,400.  Families who have one child and earned less than $31,030 in 2005 may be eligible for a credit of up to $2,662.

The Calhoun County office of the West Virginia University Extension Service and other local agencies have partnered with the West Virginia Welfare Reform Coalition to be among the regional EITC Coalitions throughout the state.

The goal is to increase the percentage of eligible EITC filers, creating a multi-million-dollar increase in returns, which will benefit West Virginia's economy and improve working families' quality of life.

But working families must file to receive the refund. Families who need tax preparation assistance can find free help at Community Resources at the corner of Johnson & Pine Creek Road, Grantsville, WV, phone number 354-9265.

Trained volunteers at more than 100 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout the state are providing free tax preparation for low- and moderate-income working families.

The VITA site volunteers prepare thousands of free tax returns each year. Because the volunteers have EITC education and experience, their efforts and goodwill positively affect working families and local economies throughout the state.

Some VITA sites can electronically file, or E-file, tax returns—which allows families' refunds to be deposited directly into their bank accounts within seven to 10 days. For working families, the refund can support the achievement of long-term economic success.

The EITC may make it possible for families to: Pay utility bills and avoid being disconnected; Put a down payment on a home and avoid expensive rental housing; Purchase a used car for transportation to work; Attend a local college or university to improve skills; Stay current with home mortgage payments

For more information about EITC or free tax preparation sites, call the toll-free helpline at 1-866-WVA-EITC or visit www.wveitc.com

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