Delaware promotes earned income tax credit and free tax prep

 Community volunteers help with tax preparation (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Community volunteers help with tax preparation (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

As W-2 forms begin hitting mailboxes, tax professionals across the First State stand ready to help navigate annual filings.

In Wilmington, city council and the Delaware state treasurer’s office have teamed up with a variety of community organizations to bring awareness to the national Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) campaign.

The national initiative was launched 12 years ago to inform taxpayers about the beneficial credit.

“The IRS gave us a statistic yesterday that one third of the clients who file for the earned income tax credit, are actually filing for the first time,” explained Joan Chandler, executive director of the Nehemiah Gateway Community Development Corporation. “So every year they want to promote the credit because there are a lot of people filing for the first time.”

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The credit is based on criteria such as filing status, income and how many dependents are in the household. The maximum credit is $6,044.

Along with EITC awareness, the state is also promoting free tax preparation services. Volunteers across Delaware are working with community groups to offer tax help.

Rashan Henry, a family service specialist for the Division of Family Services is among the many taxpayers that benefited from the tax help.

“I did my taxes wrong and I went to the Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement and basically they worked very well with me,” explained Henry. “I got my taxes done. They told me what I was getting back, which was a significant amount of money that I didn’t want to leave on the table, which I had done when I did my taxes myself.”

A list of tax preparation sites in Delaware can be found on the Nehemiah Gateway website.

The state has also launched, a free software program that allow Delawareans making $58,000 or less to file state and federal taxes for free.

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