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Free tax prep offered for county’s  low- and moderate-income residents

GREENFIELD — For the seventh straight year, human services agency Community Action will offer free tax preparation to residents in Franklin and Hampshire counties — an effort designed to collect as many refund dollars for the taxpayer as possible.

Beginning this week, residents can call and schedule a tax preparation appointment with Community Action, said Holly Kosisky, coordinator of asset development and community collaboration.

The services are designed for low- to moderate-income residents, she said. The agency will determine eligibility based on a number of factors, including the household’s total income and the type of taxes being filed.

During the subsequent appointment, an IRS-certified volunteer will review the person’s tax information, looking for any specific tax credits and refund opportunities that the taxpayer may be eligible for.

One example is the Earned Income Tax Credit — a credit designed to help low-income families with children. While some credits can only balance out money that taxpayers owe to the federal government, credits like this one actually give cash to the individual or family, said Kosisky.

Last year, families with an income under $46,000 were eligible for the credit, said Kosisky, with the largest earners collecting as much as $4,000 back from the federal government. The refund amount depends on a variety of factors, including income and family size, she said.

When individuals call for an appointment, Community Action employees will ask them a series of questions to determine eligibility, as well as the length of the appointment and what materials the taxpayers should bring with them.

The appointments will occur in Greenfield, Orange on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from Jan. 29 to April 10.

Last year, Community Action helped 400 people with their tax returns, but Kosisky is expecting that number to increase to 600 this year.

Appointments will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To schedule one, call 413-376-1136.

You can reach Chris Shores at:
cshores@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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