Free Tax Preparation Available to St. Louis City and County Residents

Free Tax Preparation for Low Income Households

in St. Louis City and County

GECC will help families with incomes of $40,000 or less

ST. LOUIS, MO (January 14, 2007) -  Need help with your tax preparation? If you live in St. Louis City or County and your household income was $40,000 or less in 2007 you may qualify for free tax help - and you just might get more money back, too. Starting Saturday, January 26, the Gateway EITC Community Coalition (GECC) is offering different days and locations for tax help. For information on if you qualify and locations/dates/necessary documents to bring see below or contact the United Way at 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-4626.

The assistance focuses on individuals or families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a federal tax credit designed to help people increase their financial stability numerous ways. It's estimated that more than 20 percent of St. Louis citizens eligible for EITC credit did not file last year for a loss of almost $30 million dollars in the Metropolitan St. Louis Area.

Locations/dates/times for GECC Free Tax Preparation for those with a 2007 household income of $40,000 or less are below. No appointment is necessary to attend:

North City

MET Center (at the Wellston MetroLink)

6437 Plymouth Ave., St. Louis, MO 63133

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Saturdays: January 26, February 2, February 9, February 16 and February 23

The Youth and Family Center*

2929 North 20th Street, St. Louis, MO 63107

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Saturdays: February 2 and February 9

*Youth and Family Center will also provide free tax services through April 15 by appointment only, Monday - Friday between 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Call 314-231-1147 to make an appointment.

South City

Five Star Senior Center*     

2876 Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO 63118

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Saturdays: January 26, February 2, February 9, February 16 and February 23

*Five Star Senior Center will also provide free tax services through April 15 by appointment only, Monday - Friday between 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Call 314-664-1008 to make an appointment.

South/Central City

ACORN*

4304 Manchester, St. Louis, MO 63110

*ACORN will also provide free tax services through April 15 by appointment only, Monday - Friday between 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Call 314-531-7023 to make an appointment.

Various Locations

Call 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-4626 to find the nearest AARP tax preparation service to you. AARP normally requires appointments.

If your 2007 household income was less than $40,000 and you do not require any itemizations such as schedules A, B, C or D, you qualify for EITC tax assistance. Please bring the following documents with you to the preparation:

•        All W-2's and 1099's (if any)

•        Social Security Card(s) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number(s) - ITIN - for all family members

•        Valid picture ID for taxpayer and spouse (driver's license or state ID or passport)

•        Copy of your 2006 tax return (if applicable)

•        Proof of unemployment compensation (if valid)

•        Copy of a voided check or bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit

•        Proof of child care expenses (if valid)

•        Amount of advanced EITC payment

•        If married, must file jointly and both spouses must be present to sign paperwork

"Up to $30 million EITC refunds are projected to go unclaimed in the St. Louis region this year," said Russ Signorino, vice president, community information for United Way of Greater St. Louis. "This figure represents a substantial loss of revenue for our community and lost income for low-wage workers."

Through past volunteer efforts, the Gateway Community Coalition has substantially increased the monetary impact to individuals and the community by helping to bring back nearly $1.3 million in refunds for the 2005 tax year and more than $1.548 million for the 2006 tax year.

The IRS estimates that 58 percent of low-to-moderate income families or working poor in this community pay an average of $267 for tax preparation, refund anticipation loans, electronic filing fees and check cashing fees. This results in an additional combined financial drain of more than $10 million for these local families.

GECC is a public/private partnership working to bring unclaimed EITC refunds to low-income individuals and families in the St. Louis region and is made up of 25 member organizations. United Way of Greater St. Louis is a key partner in the coalition providing administration, office space and volunteer training.

 

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