It worked for more than 53,000 Pierce County taxpayers who received $111.6 million in tax credits.
That was last year. This year, with tax time approaching, the Internal Revenue Service wants to help taxpayers prepare their returns and receive their due benefits.
To that end, four IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers in the Puget Sound – including the Tacoma center at 1201 Pacific Ave. downtown – will be open today and next Saturday , Feb. 5, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The effort is aimed at helping folks who can’t make it into the office during normal weekday hours.
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According to IRS spokesman David Tucker, the agency is especially interested in helping taxpayers navigate the Earned Income Tax Credit, which Tucker describes as “a financial boost for working people hit by hard economic times.”
“Many people will qualify for the first time this year because their incomes declined, their marital status changed or they added children to their families,” he said.
The maximum credit for 2010 tax returns is $5,666 for workers with three or more qualifying children. However, workers without qualifying children also might be eligible for a smaller credit amount, according to the IRS.
In tax year 2009, there were 435,673 EITC recipients in Washington who claimed a total $863.8 million in credits – for an average of $1,983. In Pierce County, 53,550 tax returns totaled $111.6 million in EITC benefits, while 15,686 Thurston County taxpayers found $29.9 million.
“Anyone with earnings under $48,362 from wages, self-employment or farming in 2010 should see if they qualify . They earned it. Now they just need to file and claim it,” Tucker said.
Taxpayers also can find help next Saturday, Feb. 5, when KeyBank, the Pierce County Asset Building Coalition and Tacoma Goodwill sponsor “Super Refund Saturday.”
The event, to be held at the Goodwill headquarters at 714 S. 27th St. in Tacoma, runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and offers free tax preparation and filing services for those eligible for the EITC.
Call 253-573-6698 for an appointment or more information on the KeyBank event, or go to www.irs.gov for information.