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Ozark Action, Inc. has completed their 11th successful Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program.
A total of 430 customers were assisted with filing their 2010 income taxes free of charge. This is an increase from 2009, in which 372 were served; and almost a 400 percent increase from 1999 when Ozark Action, Inc. began the program and served 110 families.
The success of this program is due to the agency hosting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in the six-county area of Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Texas, and Wright counties. The Income Tax refunds totaled $2,245,601. Of this amount, $668,098 is Earned Income Tax Credits.
According to national estimates, 20 to 25 percent of eligible workers do not claim their earned income credit (EIC) benefits. In the six counties served by Ozark Action, Inc., the IRS knows nearly 2½ million dollars is left unclaimed by working families. The Child Tax Credit is also under-claimed and is included in Ozark Action’s efforts. The agency hopes to educate individuals, families and communities on the benefits of the EITC and Child Tax Credits.
Ozark Action, Inc. has expanded the tax assistance efforts to include the Missouri Property Tax/Rent Rebate. Elderly and disabled customers are eligible for a portion of their property tax or rent paid as a rebate from the State. This service is also provided by volunteers at local senior citizens centers.
Ozark Action, Inc. added this as a part of their efforts to reach those customers who do not go to local senior centers. Many customers do not know the rebate is even available.
The community services staff at Ozark Action, Inc. assisted 914 households from Oct. 1, 2010 to April 15, 2011 in claiming the rebate. The total rebates brought back to these families totaled $359,017.
Unlike income taxes, the property tax/rent rebate program has no filing deadline.
Ozark Action, Inc. provides these tax services free of charge. To make an appointment for any of these services, please contact your local Ozark Action, Inc. office or contact the main office in West Plains at (417) 256-6147.