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February 2, 2006
Posted online February 7, 2005

Taxes prepared for free; don't lose out on Earned Income Tax Credit

State of Illinois

W-2 image MARION – Thursday, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn promoted the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable tax credit providing relief to working poor families and individuals. Quinn also announced the locations of free Southern Illinois tax preparation sites funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Lt. Governor's office.

"W-2 forms are arriving in the mail alongside heating and holiday bills," Quinn said. "We want to help struggling families cover their mounting winter costs and the Earned Income Tax Credit is a way to put money back in the pockets of those who need it most."

The average Illinois family filing for EITC makes less than $14,000 annually and EITC refunds average $1,800. According to the Brookings Institution, more than 840,000 low-income workers claim the EITC in Illinois. And many more are eligible.

Recent statistics show that one of every five Illinois families fails to take advantage of the tax credit. In 2005, 148,000 Illinois households eligible for the program did not apply. To reduce the large number of Illinois citizens missing out on the savings, Quinn continues to initiate efforts to fund free tax preparation services in various locations throughout the state.

Lt. Governor Quinn made the announcement outside Marion's Man-Tra-Con Corp. – an ongoing tax preparation site providing free tax services to eligible taxpayers. Services are available Monday and Wednesday evenings, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Quinn's office will provide funding for three one-day tax preparation centers at the following locations:

KARNAK: Sunday February 5, 2006 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Shawnee Development Council: 530 W. Washington St.

SPARTA: Sunday February 12, 2006 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sparta Public Library: 211 W. Broadway St.

CARMI: Sunday February 4, 2006 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Southeastern Illinois College: 1700 College Ave.

All clients who arrive during the scheduled time will be served free of charge.

"The Earned Income Tax Credit is the best pro-job, pro-family and anti-poverty tax relief ever devised, and it's important that every eligible Illinois wage earner knows about this tax relief," Quinn said. "This credit gives a much-needed tax relief to those who deserve it most, but you must apply for it," Quinn said, adding that many families use the Earned Income Tax Credit to pay utility bills, repair or buy cars, and keep family finances afloat.

For a complete list of all locations offering free tax assistance, visit the Lt. Governor's website at

© 2005 The Cairo Gate