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FREE TAX PREPARATION for RHODE ISLAND RESIDENTS

Paula McFarland
401-941-0774 x5
Executive Director, RICAA
Email: pmcfarland@ricaa.org

(Cranston, RI) – Rhode Island residents who make $54,000 a year or less may be entitled to an Earned Income Tax Credit as well as free tax preparation. 

Rhode Island Community Action Agencies (RICAA), the Citizens Bank, and the United Way of Rhode Island are partnering on Friday, January 29th at 10am at the Rhode Island State House to announce a public awareness campaign promoting free tax preparation.  

The campaign will educate Rhode Islanders of about the IRS’ Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program and its benefits to individuals and married couples. 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Governor Gina Raimondo, Treasurer Seth Magaziner, and Senate President M Teresa Paiva-Weed are supporting the public awareness campaign launch, along with other governmental officials.

Joanne McGunagle is President/CEO of Comprehensive Community Action and Board Chair of the RI Community Action Association, which is comprised of the state’s eight Community Action Agencies and serves more than 155,000 Rhode Island households each year. “The maximum Earned Income Tax Credit savings a filer can be eligible for in 2015 is $6,242,” said McGunagle, “We see working Rhode Islanders struggling every day. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a resource working families can use to offset expenses or to save for the future to build their economic situation.”

“No eligible Rhode Islander should forgo the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can add thousands of dollars to a family budget,” said Whitehouse.  “Free tax preparation services offered by VITA can help Rhode Islanders claim this credit and get larger refunds.  Thank you to the Rhode Island Community Action Association, the Citizens Bank, and the United Way of Rhode Island for partnering in this important work.”

“The Earned Income Tax Credit makes a tremendous difference for Rhode Island families grappling to make ends meet, and that money is often funneled back into our local economy as taxpayers purchase much-needed resources for their families,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “Too many Rhode Islanders are unaware that they can take advantage of this free tax preparation service, and I applaud our community action agencies, Citizens Bank and the United Way for highlighting this important service.”

The Rhode Island economy is stronger because much of the money is spent locally and tax credits to working families benefit our state.  Taxpayers will also benefit from an increase to the local Earned Income Tax Credit in the Governor’s 2015 budget.

“Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the best ways to put money back into the pockets of hardworking families,” said Governor Raimondo. “That is why last year, I worked to increase the EITC from 10 percent to 12.5 percent. This year, I look forward to building on this advocacy, as part of my commitment that all will have the opportunity to make it in Rhode Island.”

For the 2014 tax year, the earned income tax credit combined with all other credits brought more than $9 million dollars to the state of Rhode Island through the free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program administered by the Rhode Island Community Action Agencies.

“United Way of Rhode Island supports the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) to help low and moderate income workers claim the refunds and credits they’ve earned. Statewide, we invested $200,000 last year to support VITA programs, which helped 11,500 people file their taxes and brought $17 million to our local economy, $9 million of that through the community action programs. With refunds ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, the cash helps workers’ pay off debt, take care of home or car repairs, buy clothing or other necessities for their children, or open a savings account.”

“Citizens Bank has proudly supported the EITC/VITA Program and public awareness campaign for the past nine years. Helping thousands of Rhode Islanders with free tax preparation and financial literacy coaching, this program puts hard-earned dollars back in their pockets while teaching the skills required to make educated spending choices,” said Barbara Cottam, Rhode Island Market Executive, Citizens Bank.  “This campaign increases awareness of an important resource that can help Rhode Islanders improve their financial stability and achieve economic independence.”  


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