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2009 NYC Tax Filing Season News Conference: Earned Income Tax Credit for Low-Wage Workers & Options for Free Tax Prep


WHEN:  Friday, January 30, 2009, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Food Bank For New York City’s Food & Finance Center site, 284 St Nicholas Avenue (between 124 & 125th Streets) in Harlem

WHO:  Doug Shulman, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service
  Charles Rangel, Chairman, House Ways & Means Committee
 Jonathan Mintz, Commissioner, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
 The Rev. Henry Belin, Chairman of the Board, Food Bank For NYC
 Dr. Lucy Cabrera, President & CEO, Food Bank For NYC
 Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President
 
WHAT: As New York taxpayers begin the February rush to file tax returns, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman joins Congressman Charles Rangel, NYC DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, Food Bank Pres. & CEO Dr. Lucy Cabrera, & Food Bank Chairman of the Board, the Rev. Henry Belin, to discuss the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-wage workers and options for free tax preparation. Nearly 24 million taxpayers across the country received nearly $48 billion from the earned income tax credit, including 1.52 million in New York who received $2.9 billion. More than half of the tax returns claiming the EITC are filed during the month of February. The Food Bank coordinates the largest civilian free tax assistance program in the country for low-income New Yorkers with 11 sites throughout the five boroughs.

WHY: The IRS estimates that about one in four eligible taxpayers fails to claim the EITC. That means that scores of local residents could be missing out on thousands of dollars in tax refunds.  EITC claimants are eligible for free tax preparation services provided at nearly 12,000 volunteer sites nationwide (including 54 New York City EITC Coalition sites, 11 of which are run by the Food Bank For New York City). They can also link to Free File through IRS.gov if they wish to prepare their own returns.

The news conference on EITC Awareness Day also is intended to highlight a number of local initiatives to facilitate tax preparation by the IRS and elected officials. These include a Special Saturday Service this year at 172 IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (including twelve New York Centers) on three upcoming Saturdays to help prepare EITC returns and an all-day Free Tax Preparation Day on Saturday Jan. 31 with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Rep. Rangel at the Harlem State Office Building.  Most Food Bank sites will also be open every Saturday until the tax filing deadline of April 15th.

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