County Announces Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Campaign: Introduces New CASHBACK Webpage

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 Residents can learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax preparation partnerships on a new website, www.montgomerycountymd.gov/CASHBACK. The Community Action Agency, a program of the Department of Health and Human Services, developed the website in partnership with the United Way and other community based organizations. Taxpayers with incomes under $54,000 per year may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is frequently cited as the nation’s most effective federal antipoverty effort. The maximum federal EITC is $6,242. “One in five eligible households still are not claiming the EITC, but in order to get it, people need to know about it,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Because households typically only claim the EITC for a few years, ongoing outreach is critical. This website is one way of raising awareness among residents who struggle to make ends meet. When residents claim the EITC, they can deposit their refund safely in their bank account, and prepare to meet urgent needs. Those dollars are spent locally, helping our economy and families at the same time.” “Research shows that the EITC improves children’s health outcomes and contributes to their educational success,” said County Councilmember Hans Riemer. “When a Montgomery County resident files a Maryland return, that credit may be worth up to 50 percent more, through the combined effect of the Maryland EITC and the County’s Working Families Income Supplement, making its impact even more powerful.” Included on the website are links to local free income tax preparation partnerships — the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. Both bring IRS-certified volunteers to help eligible low-to-moderate income working families and seniors quickly and safely claim refunds and tax incentives, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit and tax credits for the elderly and individuals who are disabled. The website also includes a section on financial education resources. To learn more about the County’s free tax services, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 301-251-4850 / MD Relay- 711) or go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/CASHBACK. # # # Release ID: 16-054 Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6534

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