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WOONSOCKET â€“ Tax season has arrived and with it an opportunity for low income working families and individuals to tap the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITA) program for some extra money in their pocketbooks.
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse joined state and local officials and community partners at the Museum of Work and Culture on Friday to kick off this yearâ€™s awareness effort aimed at increasing participation in the federal and state tax assistance program.
Rhode Islanders qualifying for the income tax credits could net anywhere from $475 to $5,891 in Earned Income Tax Credits on top of their tax returns if they file for the program.
The Rhode Island Community Action Association, Citizens Bank Foundation and United Way Rhode Island-sponsored campaign also funds the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides certified tax preparation volunteers to help participating families complete tax returns at no cost.
The VITA services are available at community action member agencies such as Family Resources Community Action and other sites throughout Rhode Island and can be located by calling the United Wayâ€™s free hotline, at 211.
Jeanne Gattegno, board chair of the Rhode Island Community Action Association, highlighted the importance of the earned income tax credits, while welcoming the kick-offâ€™s speakers, Sen. Whitehouse, R.I. Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, R.I. Gen. Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Woonsocket Mayor Leo T. Fontaine, and representatives of United Way and Citizens Bank.
Gattegno said her own family had learned of a young woman living in her car who took advantage of the earned income tax credit program to â€ścollect a few thousands dollarsâ€ť that would help her rent a new apartment.
Read more in our print edition.